Nitasha Mukherji’s review of the poem “The Refugee” by Sorina Ivan

The refugee

Today, in just a mere second, I won…
A life…
The taste of freedom walks lonely
From one corner to another inside my soul,
Looking for me, again… as a HUMAN…
Even the sun looks different.
His light is warmer, even tender,
And it’s embracing my being with hope.
Only the heart is ticking, crazy,
Counting every second
Since, wings have started to raise my life
In a heaven…
So common for some,
A mirific world, for those like me!

Finally, my soul took refuge
In a land of silence
And peace
Especially … PEACE….


Author: Sorina Ivan
© All rights reserved to the author


Review of the poem:

This poem written by poet Sorina Ivan is a free verse that, with its title, brings into picture a situation when one is forced to leave one’s place of living or residence. That place where one might exist, but does that always amount to having a „life”, is the question which arises as a result. That’s what the opening line of the poem throws light on. Here however the poet might have played a role of protagonist to instill her ideas about individual freedom and might have used first person impersonally. But I am personifying the poet with the poem for analysis purpose.
The first line unveils an image of a situation that the poet draws for the readers with the abstract mention of an event when the poet „won a life”…

„Today, in just a mere second, I won…
A life…”

It represents a victory but over what?
What was it like for the poet before that moment? Was it about only existence with no opportunity to explore oneself or to experience what can be called a life? All these questions are born in a reader’s mind unavoidably bringing upon empathy for the poet being owned or captivated in a relationship or status where she looses individual identity thereby becoming an object to be directed into borrowed experiences without any appeal and impact.
The opening line is a delicately intense expression representing the overwhelming realization of individual freedom with anticipation of life worth living.
Freedom is a word of vital significance all around us be it in nature or in forms of life and it’s existence. It is on one hand extensively politicised in the society for vested interest and on the other hand as a positive facet has a spiritual significance as well as has its application and importance in something as basic as mere living of any creature to fulfill the purpose of its life.
Here however the poet adroitly and indirectly frames a definition of freedom with respect to individual existence by mentioning how she won a „life” in a moment… keeping infinite possibility of analysis (by a reader) of the situation or person from which or whom the poet achieves this said victory to discover the individual identity as a HUMAN. As the poet’s emotions and thoughts flow with the words we see how the achieved victory brings about a sense of loneliness or may be it’s a sudden void that comes with breaking the barriers of an uneasy ease of the comfort zone of any individual which prohibits any sort of introspection and exploration of one’s capacity as a person. We are creatures of habit and so we all tend to develop a comfort zone in the life we are often forced to live however limiting or suffocating it is. Thus the much needed freedom, when achieved, no doubt brings with it immense precious pleasure that the senses experience but is also accompanied by a feeling of loss of direction which the person is used to.

The poet writes how that sense of freedom („Taste of freedom”) wanders alone inside her soul to search for her true identity as a „HUMAN” which implies that till that moment it was all about an existence where every thought, every perspective was directed and owned with no option to feel and discover herself.
The poet goes ahead by describing how in the free life, the normal routine events and things around, that many of us so often take for granted, enthralls her with its spectacular beauty and delicate manifestations expressed with charming imagery used in the below lines

„Even the Sun looks different.
His light is warmer, even tender,”

The poet feels the light of magnificent sun as warm and tender and personifies it by using „His” which embraces her holding on to hope for a better tomorrow, that might have finally given her the strength to break free from whatever had kept her captive.
The personification of the sun here enhances and puts stress on the intensity of the joy of every sensation the poet feels.
There is a sudden twist that the poet paints into the imagery with the below lines

„Only the heart is ticking, crazy,
Counting every second”

And the readers experience the rising excitement and thrill that embraces anticipation of flight of freedom making the heart crazy with the imagination of possibilities of experience to come with the „wings” „rising” her life to the „heaven”. An exquisite imagery is being used to express the budding of imagination, feelings, sensations, thoughts, actions and choices making the world around feel like heaven, that were curbed in the previous living (all of which blossoms
and reaches new dimensions in the sky of positively enforced sense of freedom) makes a reader imagine a picture of a colorful fluttering butterfly freely wandering over blooming flowers moving from one place to another tasting the nectar of different flowers filling itself with the varied experiences.
The poet here sensitively and appropriately describes the sense of psychological or mental freedom and how precious it is to her , which to some people is a common thing easily gifted or acquired casually in their lives but is such a wonderful feeling to her that the simplest life events seems marvelous.
The last stanza is short but extremely profound in its essence where the poet brings into light a dimension of unavoidable spirituality which roots in freedom of thought, choice and feelings leading to acceptance of oneself thereby leading to silence and peace. The words silence and peace are of major significance here bearing deeper meaning than literal. The silence here is not the lonely silence but the calming down of the chaos and noise created by inner cravings and turmoil that accompanies. Where there is freedom, the soul chooses the right path of its journey through the varied experiences that a free life offers and results into discovery of the ever sought peace within thereby providing the soul a place of refuge… soul born to experience each feelings, moments and events of this precious life wandering as a refugee in all the happenings finds solace through freedom. A „PEACE” where the soul rests, where all the experiences are felt to the fullest with utter pleasure yet doesn’t bind the one experiencing. A true freedom of soul in PEACE with the movement and flow of events that makes the soul what it is . Complete acceptance arising from unrestrained and untethered flow of life which enhances every experience into utter bliss.
My heartfelt congratulations to Sorina for beautifully accomplishing such delicate and subtle composition of a significant poem.


Author of the review: Nitasha Mukherji

© All rights reserved to the author


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