Shanta Acharya reading a selection of her poems
- Sama Arts Network Ltd., UK; 2010
- ISBN Number
- Add to cart: 'Somewhere, Something'
Somewhere, Something is a CD of Shanta Acharya reading a selection of her poems from five of her published collections of poetry. It contains a generous selection of thirty poems; the duration time is 79 minutes.
In language that is accurate, spontaneous, and often witty, Shanta Acharya explores ways in which the modern individual can find a place in the world, having floated free of traditional supports. These are brave and thoughtful poems.
To listen to Shanta Acharya reading her poems is to be reminded of how much poetry is a blend of sound and image. In her CD, Somewhere, Something, a clear voice transmits the colour and texture within her work in a way that is the perfect companion to the written text, whilst being an oral delight in its own right. To borrow a phrase from Roland Barthes, it is in the 'grain of the voice' that we come to know her – and her poetry – with a greater depth and understanding. She transmits a moving feeling for place. But the inner place is always present too, so as she speaks to us we become aware of both the physical and ultimate realities that continue to inform so much of her writing, linked by a humane spirit.
Her poems have a melody and at the same time a vivid and down-to-earth quality which is really rare today. They are, so to speak, at home with themselves and not at all self-conscious. She often seems to be rescuing real poetry from the kinds of post-modern poeticism which are current today.
Her poems are both solidly grounded and satisfyingly complete. Her language is never overloaded, yet is metaphorically rich. Her words, chosen meticulously, express perfectly well her calm observations.
Full of energy, wit and good poetic sense. I love it.
‘Somewhere, Something’ is an important poem that argues that we do not travel “to explore another country / but to return home fresh, bearing gifts”. In fact, these gifts are for the self because all true experiences – thus discounting those of the ‘mere’ tourist – inevitably change us. The poem concludes, “Let’s fly free, not nailed to a mast; / see the universe with new eyes / not blinded by shadows that light casts”. Acharya’s natural form is not narrative but rather the kind of delicate perceptual lyric that records epiphanic moments, as suggested by one of the epigraphs to the collection from Proust: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes”. The lines quoted above from ‘Somewhere, Something’ contain one of the many occasions when one of Acharya’s poems seems to want to move towards rhyme. This is in part perhaps to pleasure the reader but also as a reflection of the kind of harmonious metaphysics that seem to underlie her vision.