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4.0 out of 5 stars Omar Tarin's Universal Songs of Love, February 4, 2005
This review is from: The harvest season of love songs: Poems
Omar Tarin is not very well known in the West generally, although he is one of the most important poets writing from Pakistan, in South Asia.

'The Harvest Season of Love Songs'(pub Leo Books, Islamabad, Pakistan 1997)is the fourth volume in English collecting Tarin's poems. His earlier books published by the same company include 'A Sad Piper'(1994),'The Anvil of Dreams'(1995) and 'Burnt Offerings'(1996).

The Harvest is a collection of some ten cantos of varying lengths, on the theme of love. These are organised separately under tehir own titles as well, so that each canto can be read individually as a self-contained unit, with its own voice and tone; or all the cantos can be read as part of a larger, organic whole.The cantos originally appeared as separate pieces in Pakistan and some British literary magazines and were later collected into this form.

What is especially noticeable about Harvest? I would say that primarily, the startling range of the poet's imagination. Love, here, in this volume encompasses many manifestations and expressions, human and divine, and becomes the basis for a series of imaginative impulses that leap from one vivid image to another, in an amazing manner, and all the images link up within our minds to become a sort of subconscious mind-map or frame in which the very concept of 'Reality' as we normally perceive it is shaken and new patterns emerge in our perception of the world, of Creation, of ourselves and our motivations.

It is pertinent to mention here that Tarin does not write so much or, at least, does not publish so regularly as before.During the late 1990s he retreated more and more into a spiritual reality when he was victimized by the military regime and the establishment in Pakistan's very closed, brutal society.As a researcher working on my PhD I met and interviewed him back then and found out that he had been active on numerous fronts in denouncing much of what was wrong in his society. This retreat makes the Harvest an even more significant work, laden with the spirituality of the sufis and mystics of Islam, who in their own time struggled against injustice and tyranny and sought to create an universal culture of humanity above petty differences of nation and creed.It is a testament of one man's love for truth and seeks to set free the spirit from bonds which stifle us in this earthly existence.It is unfortunate that many lesser poets from Asia and the Middle East are generally promoted by publishers in the West, since they are accessible or promoted by their own establishment(often repressive regimes)while others, who genuinely speak for millions are neglected.

This is a book for all those who have ever wondered about life, the meaning of it, and have loved or felt the power of love moving their hearts to a larger reality. It is strongly recommended as a volume of poetry that will change yor perspective of life and lift you out of yourself with its lyricism.
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The harvest season of love songs: Poems
The harvest season of love songs: Poems by Omar Tarin (Unknown Binding - 1997)
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