Welcome to the Campfire by Akshay Chougaonkar

Book Blurb:

A campfire connects – the shared warmth blossoms into an unspoken relationship between the people gathered. There manifests a sense of belonging that we often long for.

Welcome to the campfire invites readers to gather around the campfire.

How often do we disregard little inspirations around us? How often do we ignore numerous, fleeting interactions we have with the world around us every day? These are the things common to us all – the things that we all share, yet often overlook. Stemming from such ordinary, everyday observations, poems on the themes of nature, music, nostalgia, love, and internal conflicts in Welcome to the campfire call upon the reader to delve into a tranquil contemplation about little inspirations that we all share, just like the campfire’s warmth. This collection of poetry takes the reader through the night in comforting warmth of the campfire, rejoicing raptures of yore, half extinguished intimacies and unremembered pleasures.

Welcome to the campfire.

I received an advance copy of this book for free, and I’m leaving this review voluntarily. 

Lexi’s Review:

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. (66)

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

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.


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