How does one define poetry? One may define poetry by rhymes, meters, the number of lines, and its dissimilarity to prose. One may define poetry on the basis of what it might evoke in the reader. The feeling could be poetic and hence, the piece. A film could be poetic, prose could be the same and so many other things. Even justice. Are all of those poems then? In this regard, maybe it’s best if we try not to define what a poem is and just let it be what it wants to be. Because, how does one define anything?
All endeavors of definitions are mere tryings of the human intellect to expand the framework of the definitions so that they may broadly be contextualized and in many cases generalized. We could get into a whole other discussion as to how every art form is a political statement. But isn’t everything political in that sense? Existence itself is a political statement. But poetry wants to remain free. Nabin Prachin’s second book ‘Pwakh’ tries to not define what poetry should be. In an ironic way, Prachin’s ‘Pwakh’ is trapped within those 200ish pages but feels free, feels light. One feels free and as light as a feather after the book, just as the title implies. It feels as if Prachin is conveying the idea that the cosmos is a bird and consciousness, its feathers. One of his poems tells how it is but a feather from the great wing of existence brought by the wind to the book the reader is turning, thus necessarily implying that the poem itself is a feather. The poem further goes on to say that someday when everything is hard and tough, it will be there to show softness, kindness, compassion, and all the other virtues associated with consciousness. Hence, to read a poem is to be conscious. And perhaps, to be conscious is to be a poem.
Nabin Prachin is not a poet. He is just a man. The poems that are collected in his book ‘Pwakh’ come not from him but through him. His poems feel as if they could have been written by anyone else. He somehow managed to put them into words. When one reads the poems, it feels like Prachin found the words to all the poems that reside within everyone. ‘Pwakh’ is a collection of spiritual poems in the same direction as Rumi or Khalil Gibran. Nabin Prachin’s ‘Pwakh’ feels like folk music just as the film ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ quotes ‘If it was never new, and it never gets old, then it’s a folk song.’ The nature of ‘Pwakh’ is similar to what his name means, Nabin meaning new and Prachin meaning old. A contradiction when put together but at the same time encompassing all that was and all that might be. ‘Pwakh’ is Nabin Prachin. But then again, Nabin Prachin, the one who gave words to ‘Pwakh’, is just a man.
‘Pwakh’ explores the ever-existent, non-ending theme of the relationship between consciousness and the cosmos, between man and nature, between man and religion, and philosophy. The poems sometimes tickle like a mature dandelion and fly away to the wind, sometimes giggle at the simplest of things with innocent stupidity, while at times mourn at the complexities. It encompasses the perspectives of a newborn and an old person at the same time. The discoveries and the appreciation of those discoveries.