Aansoo : Tears

Jaishankar Prasad, Books India International, 2006, x, 86 p, ISBN : 8189129082, $11.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Aansoo : Tears/Jaishankar Prasad

"Jai Shankar Prasad's Aansoo is an elegy composed in memory of his first wife. His love for her was so intense that it threw him out of his usual self-possession, but the poet recovered his balance. But before he did so, he had embodied his illimitable agony in deathless melody in Aansoo. And he was thus able to save his heart from breaking and rescue his personality from utter collapse. Shakespeare has rightly said that a man must express his grief, otherwise it will break his heart.

"Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak Whispers the over-fraught heart and bids it break".

Aansoo is a lyric of love. It has all the qualities of lyrical poetry, namely, intensity of emotional experience, spontaneity of expression, subjectivity of thought and feeling, unity of mood, idea or sentiment, loftiness of imagination, depth of sensibility, succinctness of scope or brevity of form, resonance of rhythm and liquidity of metrical movement.

Prasad was a passionate lover of woman and he found the ideal of womanhood in his own first wife. It is obvious from Aansoo she was a perfect embodiment of elation, of that inborn loveliness which is characteristic of woman, of the brimming simplicity, innocence, and purity of the child, amiability of temper, affability of manners, inalienable modesty in spite of absolute intimacy, and that self-respect and quiet dignity which would not yield to the random gusts of her husband's passion. Prasad was a passionate lover not only of muliebrity but also of that pudicity which is the woman's highest ornament.

Aansoo is thus a romantic lyrical elegy par excellence. It combines sweetness with sadness but leaves an optimistic impression devoid of all pessimism.

Aansoo is a master piece of a classic of not only Hindi but of entire Indian literature." (jacket) 

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