Jaydeep Sarangi on

Nathalie Buckland's
Shards & Figments
(Lismore, Australia; 2013)

“If you don’t already know Nathalie, you will after reading this exquisite self-expose and privileged insight into life, hers and yours” —John Bird

The poems in Nathalie Buckland’s maiden collection read naturally and consistently and are remarkably enjoyable and exciting. This enjoyment and ecstasy in the variety of subject and style is what the collection stands for. Poems appeal to our senses, we unwittingly follow a call from within.We soon become part of the poetic process and together, we move on—the poet and the reader. There is the pleasure in the recognition of a shared moment followed by a heightened awareness and anxiety. These poems can be read, studied, thought about and reveal deeper meanings of life’s daily acts:

But always the sun, the sun, the sun
pulls me back
to this place of my heart, Australia,
home not of my childhood,
but of my children.

(‘Migrant’)

Nimbin and surrounding areas are part of what is known as the "Rainbow Region” in Australia . Nimbin is a peaceful village that welcomes all people to enjoy. It is a vibrant place where so many talented bards live. Rob Harle and Tamaso Lonsdale have already participated in the blossoming literary ties between Australia and India. Nathalie has also contributed her poems in Indo-Australian poetic connections. Nimbin for Nathalie is Lake District for Wordsworth and Puri for Jayanta Mahapatra. Nathalie is a committed artist and her commitments are in multitude:

Embraced by soft music, air conditioned,
paintings and subtle delicate craft
glow in poignant contrast.

(‘My Nimbin’)

Here, an indomitable gusto turns the key to a chamber of elevated thoughts. Images are woven one into another with rare brilliance and effortlessness. Nathalie, a conscious soul-maker, does not find it difficult to articulate her poetic matter into a corpus that beautifully invites her reader’s interest. No matter what we touch and we wish to know about, we simply end up in the enigma that her words forge:

the log has no memory
of seed , seedling, sapling
of life as a forest giant
now felled ,sliced, chopped
morphing to ash(.)

( ‘a fine and private place’)
One grandfather of Nathalie was a patron of famous Irish genius W.B.Yeats. Poetic inspiration for Nathalie is like ‘ink in the vein’. She is an elegant poet and her language is simple and sharp:

I see her shadow
she comes
I will endure,
I am a mother.

(‘Daughter’)

The beautiful ambiance of a poem is born out of a prophetic sensibility of the mind—a fine poem is a colourful rose that paints a feeling that it holds something more to open, even as it blooms petal by petal before the reader. A powerful poetic imagination enlivens even rusty metals and bricks; such imagination is like an intoxicating drop of wine that fuels the art of creation. Nathalie’s engaging lines establish her as an artist for all seasons.

Nathalie’s images are both abstract and concrete. They leave things open for readers. The result is a lyrical moment of ecstasy. She shows us things from new perspectives. She reminds me of Rizio Yahanan Raj who writes about the potential, and the magic and charm of the female:

I am a woman; I posses
occult powers to breathe life
into your old coffers of whim.

(‘Wind’, Exchanges with the Thinker)

Like Rizio, Nathalie says, “My grail is Woman.” ‘Right’ is a euphonious equivalent of ‘might.’ Nathalie follows the tradition of Gwendolyn Brooks, Sylvia Plath and Langston Hughes a ‘fabric rare and strange’. Her poetic self gasps in ‘chamber of maiden thoughts ’ to search for her emotional root proclaiming it as, sap of art is her heritage. Sap is liquid in a plant that carries food to all its parts. It is a source of vitality for the poetess to voyage within. Back cover comments are like entry keys to unfold a mysterious casket of delight. The cover design by Rob Harle adds value to the poems. As a whole, this collection is a reading wonder!

Jaydeep Sarangi © 2014