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poetry in the defence of poetry…


Book: An Apology for Shakespeare

Author: S A Joseph

Publisher: Notion Press, 2014

Page: 132

Reviewed by: Amit, Ashvamegh Staff

Buy the book: Amazon

Shakespeare is immortal and he won’t ever die. This is one of the fundamental truths we come to know when we take up English literature studies during our graduation in the colleges or universities. When I came across this title and I got to know that I had to review it, An Apology for Shakespeare, believe me, I thought it must be something written in flowery pose and pedantic tone. To my surprise, it was one of those rarest moments when I am just deceived by my very own notions. An Apology for Shakespeare by S A Joseph is, in fact, a collection of beautiful poems which are written to promote the great art of poetry writing as well as the great pleasure in poetry reading. And the author is equally justified in saying that his work is no lesser than the third defence of poetry after that done by Sidney and Shelley!

An Apology for ShakespeareS A Joseph is a poet from Kerala and he is also a renowned academician having plenty of experience in working on the post of director and principal in the leading educational institutions. His taste for the classics, whether it’s reading or writing, is wonderful! The poems, as I came across, by S A Joseph are certainly on a different pedestal compared to those which we find daily on a casual day in the magazines or on the web. This collection certainly displayed some promise for poetry and poetic skills.

S A Joseph’s poetry is grave and far serious as raises the important questions in verse. He writes:

“Forgive me my age,
For accepting both God and Lucifer,
At the same time!
For who knows God and Lucifer now?
Where the good and the evil,
Are a fine subject to think,
Only for the first class idiots!
Alas! Then, what is Milton?
What is Homer?
What are the authors,
Of the great Indian Epics?”

And believe me, I have been a very good reader of poetry but certainly did not get to read anything like this for so long! Joseph’s poetry seems to have a purpose and at the same time, there is a certain amount of unrest in the verse for the loss of interest in poetry in the intellectuals of this age. S A Joseph, as a serious poet who has been hurt with this thought, laments the loss of the great art of poetry and tries to console himself (in other poems) and also challenges his age. He asks questions; he presents the fierce scenario; he laments; he expresses his concerns; he shouts his griefs…

Apart from the lamentation of loss of interest in poetry, the poet also questions the modern age and its excessive dependence on the things of petty importance. The poet isn’t at all nervous in questioning the judicious faculty of Jesus Christ for the poets do enjoy the rights which we common people cannot ever imagine. The poet writes:

“See my master,
A golden company of my total,
Golden computer age,
Where even Jesus Christ,
Will fail in justice,
When compared to the company.”

And this is certainly bold! The poet has no qualms in speaking his mind and this boldness and frankness of his verse make the poetry of S A Joseph not only praiseworthy but also the true representative of this modern age. How many times are the times we believe on God today? Though we do do the horoscopes with the help of a computer but we certainly question the very existence of God! This is the modern age dilemma that the poet has captured very beautifully!

To all the serious poetry readers out there, I will certainly suggest going through this experimental, classic and bold collection of poems. S A Joseph as a poet has many things to offer to the readers of poetry in this enchanting collection. You certainly will miss a lot if you don’t grab a copy now. Get a copy for yourself from the Amazon links below:

An Apology for Shakespeare - Reviewed
  • Theme
  • Class of Poetry
  • Poetic Pleasure in Reading


An Apology for Shakespeare by S A Joseph is a must-read book for the serious poetry lovers!