Staring at the Sky                                                                                              Author: Satya Narayan Mishra                                                                                    Review by Komal Joshi

The book that takes the readers into the realm of imagination, “Staring At The Sky” is an astonishing piece of art written by Dr. Satyanarayan Mishra. It rejuvenates the body and the soul with its refreshing themes juxtaposed with social messages veiled deep within the poems. The book takes the readers into an astounding world of words portraying the many aspects of love, life, emotions and thoughts. With a total of twenty-six poems varying from romance and spirituality to social evils and transience of human life, the book certainly leaves an impression on the readers’ mind.

“Staring at the Sky” is based on the title of one of the poems from the book. In the poem, the poet expresses his gratefulness to the sky as a source of creation, inspiration and dissolution. Dr. Satyanarayan Mishra has infused his poems with profound and meaningful thoughts that resonate with our feelings. With an MSc. (Physics) and M.A. (Yoga), Dr. Satyanarayan Mishra has comprised many metaphysical and cosmic references in the poems. In the poem, “Yoga and Bhoga” he has emphasized upon the futility of materialistic aspiration and explained how yoga is more than just poses.

Many of the poems are replete with mythological references from Hindu scriptures assorted with social issues of the present era. In the poem “Golden Deer” Satyanarayan deals with the entire episode which led to the abduction of Sita. The poem asserts on the maltreatment faced by Sita after she returned. Ending on an interesting note, the poem mirrors the suffering of Sita to the suffering of all Gunamanis (class of women) across the globe in this ‘age of darkness.’

The poem “People Say” revolves around the universal phenomena of society and its persistent interference in our lives. But no one understands that they are the same people “Who set Sita on fire and spread calumny against Radha”. They are same people who run after power and prosperity. They are no one else but our family, friends and kin.

“When Time Runs Out For You” discusses the transient nature of human life. It asserts on making memories and quit running after materialistic pleasures. The striking feature of this poem lies in its essential lines, “But why, no one stops hankering after these transient, petty pleasures of the body and youth. “The Face” also talks about the non-permanence of life. “No face can forever remain the same.” The only constant in life are the memories which stay in one’s heart forever.

The poem “Do You Really Change?” delves into the question as to how a poet and his poem can really inspire. Artists are the barometer of cultural changes, but can people really change from the words of the poem. The lines are portrayed through effortless and vibrant imagery. The biggest achievement in a poet’s career is to impact people’s life and change their perspective towards the world. This thought is gorgeously expressed by Satyanarayan in these lines, “Somebody would read, Somebody would change, And that alone would be your big reward.”

Certain poems like “Ashes Of Memory”, “Relationship”, “About You” and “A New Morning” confer the phenomena of love, compassion, hope and forgetting. The reader also discovers the wonders of creative imagination gracefully woven into the poem “Identity.” Many poems are also associated with the cultural heritage of Odisha and surely are going to touch the hearts of the readers.


The reviewer is a student of PGDJ(English) at Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Dhenkanal, Odisha.

Comments are closed.