While I went through the book “And the Candles Blew” published by Narratives, I was struck with quite a number of impressions. The poems in the book under review reflect the Jean Paul Sartre’s philosophy of existentialism.

Some poems seem to have been in the line of T S Eliot’s tradition of imagery, Byron’s human romance and above all Donne’s reflections on mysteries of human life. At the same time the poems in the book are interwoven though separate. They are complementary to each other giving the idea of a predestined pattern of life.

This flow of the poems may lead one to the Canterbury Tales of Chaucer who sharply characterised life in all hues and colours.

The author and poet, Hannan Rifaat Hussain, is an undergraduate student of Government Policy and Public Administration at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST). He holds a minor Computer Information systems from De Anza College, California.

Hussain is a frequent contributor to national English language newspapers. This is his first book, which is a collection of poems, written over a period of two years. The title represents a fusion of feelings, sentiments and imaginations about various facets of life. Over 40 poems of diverse genres, including fantasy, romance, drama, tragedy and culture, constitute the collection. The author uses a unique and compelling diction to connect with his readers, following a post-modernist style of literature writing.

The young poet represents the upcoming generation of Pakistan in terms of its reaction to prevailing circumstances, peculiar in nature and spectrum. The youth in this country mostly find the state moving without setting the direction whatever it may be, and the result is that most of the young people of the country seem to be desperate and pessimistic.

The poems in the book at places reflect these shades of emotions. However the general message of the poems is hope. The poems are based on realities of life, bitter in case of Pakistan, but they still motivate the reader to confront the situation and try to overcome it.

Ultimately the final impression of these poems is somewhat unique. The author seems to have tried to imagine all sorts of human feelings in a society which has unleashed itself from its past despite being oblivious to its future. That way the poet betrays his cultural moorings. The jolt effect of the poems may not be missed.

Such piece of writings can ignite our youth’s thought process, drive them to struggle and lead them to openings in the walls - walls that have been erected by block headed vested interests to confine desperate youth within limits.

Finally I think this book of poems might inspire many others to indulge in such undertakings.