Durlabh Singh,
Chrome Red:
Collected Poems

(Author, 2004)

I first met Durlabh Singh while gathering together poets from around the world for the Beyond Borders Press publications The World Healing Book and The Book of Hope. I was immediately impressed with his creativity and spiritual vitality. The way he has seamlessly interwoven the reality of modern life with the hope of the next life. In his collection Chrome Red, he has exemplified this duality.

Durlabh, a Sikh from London, England, knows the struggle to find spiritual calm in a raging sea of chaos. He covers a wide range of topics, dealing with the nature of human experience, life, love, loss and beauty. You can sense his earnest struggle in these poems. Each word, each phrase is a reflection of his healing but scarred soul. In this collection, he finds the perfect balance between these dualities. The collection is a deeply rich series of poems showing a wisdom and resonance rarely found in poetry today. When first confronted by Durlabh's poetry, the essence of Rumi can be found, but he is his own voice.

Durlabh has found a way to simultaneously communicate the struggles of the spirit with the struggles of the mundane. He has found the common threads of truth and has woven them into a beautiful and moving tapestry. The reader starts out slowly and measured but, before long, finds himself fantastically lost and awash in verse. And yes, there are many Sikh-influenced poems here, but there are also many surprises, too, such as "Hunters of Sea," the haunting "Epping Forest" and the ancient "Titikaka." There are so many excellent poems to choose from, it is quite difficult to select only a handful and claim them as standouts. Indeed, it would be a daunting task to choose just one to represent this collection.

Durlabh Singh is the pre-eminent Sikh writer/poet of his day, the modern reincarnation of Rumi, and he is also one of the most moving poets of our time. I highly recommend Chrome Red.

Note: The forward of Chrome Red, titled "The Poetics of Metaphorical Synergy," was written by legendary poet and spiritualist Eva Acqui and is a very poignant view of the poetic discourse of metasynthesis in Durlabh's poetry.

- Rambles
written by Michael Lohr
published 18 September 2004

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