Welcome to the Campfire by Akshay Chougaonkar

I enjoyed reading this book of poetry by Akshay Chougaonkar and six other contributors.

The final poem in this collection, “Epilogue: The Stories Behind This Book You Hold,” really summarizes the vibes of this book. The narrator crunches through fall leaves and observes the sounds of the life around him – miners, a grieving woman, a musician, children, birds, and travelers. This book of poetry does a good job of including vibrant sensory imagery with relatable human experiences. 

My favorite poems in this collection are “Unrequited Love” and “The Moon and the Lighthouse.”

The mountain smiles at the clouds
reflecting starkly in its lakes –
that is his heart, and in it dearly 
he bears them all. (Chougaonkar 66)

Chougaonkar, A. (2021). Welcome to the Campfire. Perceiving Things.

Rooted! 
I am to this rock. 
Daylight! 
Ah! It casts me dead. 
I hailed the sky,
it stole my spirit instead. (Chougaonkar 68) 

Chougaonkar, A. (2021). Welcome to the Campfire. Perceiving Things.

There were a few instances where the word choices or meter didn’t feel right to me, but overall I found the poetry engaging and enjoyable. I give this book four stars and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys poetry.

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