“It is better to read a little and ponder a lot than to read a lot and ponder a little”
– Denis Parsons Burkitt
Poetry satisfies this dictum admirably. Unfortunately, modern English verse is very dense and leaves the ordinary reader gasping for explanation. In general, poetry in the western hemisphere is a forgotten genre that is studiously ignored.
Religion in the classical sense has also lost meaning for many in the West, but the hunger for spirituality seems alive and well. It is ironic that in the wake of 9/11 and the widespread general hostility for Islam, a Muslim Sufi -Saint, Maulana Jallaluddin Rumi is the most popular poet instead of literary stalwarts like Frost, Shakespeare or Milton.
Following a near-death experience, Rashid Osmani, the author of this collection started writing poetry. This is his third book to be published. His style is reflective of the spirituality and sensuousness of Rumi, who is revered by the author as the master. Forty poems are grouped in four chapters with delightful titles like “Smile” and “Ponder”. Each poem is followed by an explanatory note for context and meaning that helps the reader overcome the biggest obstacle to enjoyment of modern poetry. Website comments from other poets are also included to shed additional light and offer different perspectives.