An Apology for Shakespeare is a beautiful collection of poetry by an experienced Indian poet from Kerala, S A Joseph. This collection of poetry, as the author has put it, is a defence of poetry in the language of poetry itself. This is not a defence based on the theoretical aspects of poetry but in a rather direct way – telling the readers the worth and beauty of the art by providing them with some best productions of the art itself. And let me admit that I am wonderfully impressed by the poetry and the poetic display of word-skills by S A Joseph, the writer of An Apology for Shakespeare. The best part of his poetry is that he has been around the basics and the fundamentals of the art; he did not try to do much and kept his verse simple yet striking and meaningful and communicating. S A Joseph can convey the grandest of the ideas in his minimalistic writing form which is undoubtedly remarkable and equally praiseworthy.
“See, the ‘Hamartia’
Of our creator, my master,
He permitted his enemy,
To influence his creations;”
Anyone who is aware of poetry and its basics even in scantiest of its form will surely understand how wonderful are these lines created!
An Apology for Shakespeare, unlike most other ambitious attempts at poetry, is far more serious and sophisticated. The poet of this collection exactly knows what he is trying to do and he succeeds as well. S A Joseph has done his best in portraying his thoughts and also adding ‘his version of the world with the importance of the art of poetry’ through his words. An educationist and academic management specialist by profession, the poet has a deep attachment with the classic poetry and he believes that poetry can surely bring about the desired change in the world which we have always envisioned.
What I have particularly liked in the poetry of S A Joseph is his boldness and courage to call out the truth and make it stand in the witness box without any drop of fear-sweat on his forehead. The poet admits that the world has been corrupted. However, unlike other ‘restrained’ poets, he does not fear in calling even the creator – God, for His incapability in saving the world, his creation, from corruption. The poet writes:
“Lucifer, cordially I appreciate thee,
For, your practical tact is
The most desirable thing.
You have won
All human hearts and souls
With your knowledge and attitude
Towards this generation:
For, you provide
Whatever they wish,
While they live miserably,
To whom God promises Immense bliss
Only after death.”
The poetry, which might seem otherwise at the first read, is, in fact, the cruel reality of our age. We have become so hopeless that we deny believing God and we take the shortcuts to happiness. We have begun believing in corrupt and bad practices and which metaphorically means Lucifer. This idea of striking the conscious of the people directly is indeed powerful!
To all the serious poetry readers out there, I will surely suggest reading this great collection of poems by S A Joseph. You can get the book from Amazon by clicking the links below. I will suggest buying the Kindle edition because it’s rather cheaper than the original paperback edition on which you would also be levied the delivery charges!
An Apology for Shakespeare - Reviewed
A must read poetry collection for the serious readers of poetry!