A REVIEW of Saad Ali's Owl Of Pines Sunyata |
By Ejaz Rahim (MA in English)
Sitara-i-Imtiaz for Literature, Poet & Author (PAK)
Ali has, once again, confirmed his ability to combine skill with substance that is of significance in the contemporary world. He covers an extensive range of subjects including philosophy, politics, history, literature, sciences and the arts. Questions concerning epistemology and ontology are at the core of his work. But the greatest focus is on the Human Person as a feeling, living, observing, experiencing and learning entity. A deep human compassion bubbles up from the flow of language and words in his poetry. A reader, or 'conscious reader', in the poet's words in the Preface, will enjoy this book of poems, if it is read as a continuation of his earlier oeuvre.
Ali's prefaces are not to be read as insignificant pieces to be skipped over; they capture the spirit that informs his creative work. The following sentences found in the Preface are not merely clues, but keys for understanding as well as enjoying the poems contained in this book:
I must confess that the poems I savoured most in this volume fall in the category of 'Ekphrasis'. I believe no other poet in Pakistan has more creditable poetry than his in the multi-disciplinary field of ekphrasis. Some of the poems I relished are:
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A REVIEW of Saad's Owl Of Pines : Sunyata |
By Alarie Tennille (BA in English Literature)
Poetess & Author (USA)
The book cover hints at the variety we'll find in this long collection of poems: Vers Libre (aka free verse), Prose Poem, Ekphrasis (inspired by art). That's only the beginning of the variety. The word "Sunyata," above the title is translated to mean "emptiness which is the creator, destroyer, proliferator, and container of existence itself." But that barely touches the surface of what Ali covers in this book. We soon learn that in addition to straddling Eastern and Western culture, making a home in both the UK and Pakistan, he covers distant travel and time travel, Western music, existential philosophy, literature, art, the major world religions, and casual moments with friends in bars. There are times we need to read footnotes to begin to understand what others believe and other times we join right in at the party.