“An Afternoon in My Mind”, a beautiful juxtaposition of serene and dramatic images


‘An Afternoon in My Mind’ by Sonnet Mondal
Reviewed by Sarbari A. Basu

Seventy-five poems in Sonnet Mondal’s latest collection, “An Afternoon in My Mind,” are pleasant and resonant to the reader—we find the physical manifestation of wordplay: tone, serene rhythm, melody, and particularly flashes of vivid imagery. On the page, Sonnet Mondal develops poetry that corresponds to self-reflection and the explanation of contradictory perceptions.

In his poems ‘Grandpa’s Verandah,’ ‘The Curved Road Home,’ ‘An Afternoon in My Mind,’ and ‘A Breeze from My Childhood,’ he focuses on themes of remembrance and memories of people and places. In the poem ‘A Breeze from My Childhood’ the poet writes:

“After decades now, I wonder /about the exact moment when I grew up/and the exact moment I would grow old. /It’s like a glint vanishing through rolling wheels.
I am still at some distance and can see/the walls of my house falling off /like those clay toys Mother made.
I feel an air cooling my shadow./It must be travelling from the meadows /surrounding my childhood home.”

The book features spontaneous snapshot moments from across time and places that exist in the same way as Sonnet’s nostalgia exists—somewhere in his early memories. These memories flow one after the other, with occasional jumps and pauses to break up the monotony.

Though the book deals with collective subjects such as society, time, and solitude at times, it is more akin to a journal in verse because the book is weaved by an enlarged understanding of oneself and one’s capacity to reconsider life.

In An Afternoon in My Mind, Sonnet Mondal explores life with metaphors and emotional realities, building a collection of primarily short poems that filter everyday occurrences through vibrant images.

The collection’s key themes are place, people, and fate. The book’s liking for emotion and reminiscence is its most meticulous constant, and their precise language without excessive verbal overload contributes to enduring imaginings.

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