Yogesh Patel’s new poetry collection.
By Phil Hall
The Rapids is a collection of poetry published by The London Magazine, (Price £9.99)
Daring, sophisticated and playful- Patel’s poetry is a calligraphy of the soul made visible. It is a rare achievement.Steven O’ Brien, Editor of The London Magazine
Deservedly, Yogesh Patel received an MBE for literature last year, in 2020. He runs Skylark Publications UK and a non-profit Word Massala project and we are honoured that he is currently also the poetry editor of Ars Notoria.
Yogesh has nurtured and encouraged many poets to greatness, in particular poets of the diaspora. Yogesh was awarded the Freedom of the City of London. He has LP records, films, radio, a children’s book, fiction and non-fiction books, and three poetry collections to his credit. The Rapids is his latest collection of poems.
My poems are very unconventional. Writes Yogesh. Madness! As I am. Where the poems are a free form, they do not always scan. But I use a conventional tone. My brain, I suppose, is wired up, all tangled, broken up. Jazz, but in tune! The punctuation left behind, or introduced, or created with spaces, is in a different style. The Rapids are jostling, disorientating, with all the excitement of a Thunder River Rapids Ride!
In The Rapids Yogesh Patel unveils a vigorous new poetic form, which looks set to give writers and readers pleasure for years to come. What doubles the pleasure is the way these poems bring the human and natural words in together on a single, generous breath.Fiona Sampson, poet
The Rapid: Cogito, ergo sum
Go for a treasure hunt in a fragmented poet
Where am I? “Love cannot live without trust.”
Psyche heartbroken Find me, I’ll be
disconnections: images, legends
I am rules chaos in a pirouette
Thunder River a torrent-in-kicks
We came together in a pledge
with an allusion of gravity
you winning most coins
in a wedding-game thali.
Eyes locked, sentences with bindi,
we talked around thali.
The aroma absorbed our pasts
in daal, roti and bhaji.
Thali now spins:
at work, words are
coins flying like bullets!
It’ll be Alright on the Night
A bargain An offer from COVID
2021 half lockdown
Buy 2 Get 1 Half Price
Clotted Brexit Devon cream?
502 A bad gateway
Once the sale ends Reboot!
The poems take you to places of high tension then turn away to face others as if the world itself were restless and constantly on the move. It is like being engaged in the overheard dialogue with language.George Szirtes, poet
For me, The Rapids express the life of the poet’s thoughts as they flow between rocky outcrops of words; sometimes along the River Wandle in Morden Park, and sometimes along the river Vaitarani in hell. Yogesh carefully tears apart his poems allowing in the reader’s own world, allowing in water, air, light and thereby creating a roiling forward movement.
A milkman’s round
history doesn’t repeat bottles
at four in the morning as it used to
now I stumble over empties we collected
at the doors we erected as monuments
the change is a clock without keys
to wind back for fresh orders
What are the rules for writing Rapids?
- The poem is a 5-1 sestet of short lines
- The maximum line length is accentual tetrameter. If shorter, try to maintain a pattern.
- As no exception to the rule, the sixth line must be in tetrameter, accentual or otherwise, separate and must be split equally in the middle as 2-2
- The two-stress end phrase helps on its own in extending the allegory being handled
- The title increments poem’s meaning. It is not a repeat of the theme.
- Along with disrupted connectivity, the suggestiveness through metaphorical, folklore or mythical stories and characters is an important aspect of this form.
Yogesh Patel has received MBE for literature in the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2020. Internationally celebrated, he edits Skylark and runs Skylark Publications UK as well as a non-profit Word Masala project to promote South-Asian diaspora literature. Previously he has received the Freedom of the City of London. With LP records, films, radio, children’s book, fiction and non-fiction books, and three poetry collections to his credit, he is a recipient of many awards, including an honour in April 2019 at the New York University as a Poet-of-Honor. Amidst many venues, he has read in the House of Lords and at the National Poetry Library.
If you want to know more about Yogesh Patel and his poetry, you can listen to the essay he wrote recently for Writer’s Mosaic.