Posted in Reviews

2 Second Review: Songs of Nature by Sarojini Naidu

Songs of Nature by Sarojini Naidu

2 Sentence Summary

Sarojini Naidu’s collection of poems about nature from the early 1900s focus on her life and experiences in India, embracing a lush and wild feeling. Her work as a poet includes both children’s poems and others with more mature themes including patriotism, romance, and tragedy, earning her the sobriquet “Nightingale of India”.

Thoughts

I was hoping to find some poetry I could sink into recently, and I failed — until I found this. It’s a very classical style, with common rhyming patterns stuck to faithfully, and language like “Lo!” and “but soft, the willow wind sings” and the like. Probably unsurprising, the focus was entirely on nature, and predominantly that of India at the urging of the writer of the forward. There are some that touch on the gods, some focus on foods, and some mirror the animals and forests and streams.

Honestly, it was just so comforting and gentle and carried me along. They made me not worry about anything. I relaxed into the lilt of the language as the rhythms and patterns carried me along, like I was drifting along one of the warm rivers lit gold that she speaks of. My favorite was “To My Fairy Fancies” as a whole, but there were countless lines and images from others that had me dreaming.

It’s gorgeous, y’all.

PS – there are a lot of references to champak blossoms in there, so here’s a pic of them to get you in the mood of the poems ^.^

Posted in Reviews

Review: If I Tell You the Truth by Jasmin Kaur

If I Tell You the Truth by Jasmin Kaur

Recommended: yup
For an intersectional story, for a well done blend of poetry and prose, for a fictional-but-way-too-real look at how sexual assault affects not only the person attacked but so many others around them

Summary

Kiran is a young Punjabi Sikh woman who becomes pregnant after being sexually assaulted by her fiancé’s brother. When her fiancé and family don’t believe her, she flees her home in India to Canada, where she plans to raise the child as a single mother. For Kiran, living undocumented means constant anxiety over finances, work, safety, and whether she’ll be deported back to the dangers that await her in Punjab. Eighteen years later, Kiran’s daughter, Sahaara, is desperate to help her mother, who has been arrested and is facing deportation. In the aftermath, Kiran reveals the truth about Sahaara’s conception. Horrified, Sahaara encourages Kiran to speak out against the man who raped her—who’s now a popular political figure in Punjab. Sahaara must find the best way to support her mother while also dealing with the revelation about her parents.

Thoughts:
I didn’t expect this to begin with Kiran as a kiddo, but that’s just what happened. What we get is a quite robust look at a life, from young Kiran to young adult Kiran to older Kiran as a mother. It switches to her daughter, Sahaara, as she grows up as well. I particularly loved the way Sahaara’s sections grew in stylistic complexity as she grew in age. In her early poetry entries, it’s simple rhyming couplets. It grows more complex, utilized different techniques and the abstract, and eventually turns to lengthier prose entries as well.

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Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: If I Tell You the Truth, 1/19/21

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look ahead to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is If I Tell You The Truth by Jasmin Kaur, which has both a gorgeous premise and a gorgeous cover.

Why wait on this one?

  • Ahhhh, a good multi-generational women’s story. With the added element of immigration, this is basically everything I love in a story. We’ll hear from Kiran and her daughter Sahaara as they tackle together longstanding secrets and painful pasts.
  • ….those secrets being not so secret to the reader, as we know that Sahaara was conceived when Kiran was raped. So that’s a pretty intense conversation for a mother and daughter to have, and the way they’ll each try to cope as well as finding their way together with this shared truth between them promises to be painful and (I hope) really really powerful with tentative hope in the face of despair.
  • Multigenre stories feel so rare. I absolutely adore books told in varying formats, or in nontraditional medium. This one is a blend of poetry, prose, and illustrations, and I can only imagine how well that will complement the story. Powerful and complex feelings sometimes need creative and non-linear forms of expression.

Summary

Told in prose, poetry, and illustration, this heartrending story weaves Kiran’s and Sahaara’s timelines together, showing a teenage Kiran and, later, her high school–aged daughter, Sahaara.

Kiran is a young Punjabi Sikh woman who becomes pregnant after being sexually assaulted by her fiancé’s brother. When her fiancé and family don’t believe her, she flees her home in India to Canada, where she plans to raise the child as a single mother. For Kiran, living undocumented means constant anxiety over finances, work, safety, and whether she’ll be deported back to the dangers that await her in Punjab.

Eighteen years later, Kiran’s daughter, Sahaara, is desperate to help her mother, who has been arrested and is facing deportation. In the aftermath, Kiran reveals the truth about Sahaara’s conception. Horrified, Sahaara encourages Kiran to speak out against the man who raped her—who’s now a popular political figure in Punjab. Sahaara must find the best way to support her mother while also dealing with the revelation about her parents.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Spine poetry: days after a breakup (but not my own!!)

This session of spine poetry stems from my last 5 completed books, but as of a few days ago because I wrote these and then finished some books before finishing this post. 😅 At the time of writing my five most recently finished books were:

Continue reading “Spine poetry: days after a breakup (but not my own!!)”
Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Poems from space: odes to TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS

if you’re wondering
where Eragon’s author went:
floating in the stars

yes, I mean, it’s true
everyone has a story
but Kira’s is best

aboard the Wallfish
you learn to love a stranger
become family

complex math, research
thorough realism of space
dude did some good work

so good it made me
cry, dream, hope, savor, tense up —
wouldn’t change a thing.

Continue reading “Poems from space: odes to TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS”
Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

A punny poem

I was quite impressed

by all the puns Pollack made.

He could fillet book!

Oh, looks like he already has. 😁 This was a re-read for me, but I read it so long ago that I wanted to go through it again. It’s pretty expansive in how much it covers, and I knew I would have forgotten a lot of it. What a delight to revisit this one!

(I tried REALLY hard to think of a Pollack-fish pun 😂)

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

A Most Perfect Celebration of Star Wars Day

Alright, y’all, I’ll be honest: I’ve never been swayed by Star Wars. The story seems right up my alley, but my stars was I ever unable to manage to get through the films. I recently watched 3-6 and 9 with my beau this year at his insistence, and they were decent though still didn’t blow me away.

BUT.

I found something amazing even to me at More Than Words a few months ago. Even with my negligent interest in Star Wars, I was desperate to have it.

OH. WOW.
Continue reading “A Most Perfect Celebration of Star Wars Day”
Posted in Book Talk

Spine Poetry – How to Love

This session of spine poetry comes off of my shelf of books from around the world. Some I’ve read already and some are still waiting, but this is one of my favorite shelves ever. 😊

Today it’s given me a bit of a first-time-in love feeling, where mistakes are made and learned from. I hope it ultimately has a more positive feeling, but you tell me!

Between shades of gray,
a love that never tires.
heart of darkness, chasing the light.
the best we could do?
the upside
of falling
down:
the art of hearing heartbeats


The story

As always with writing and especially poetry, what the author had in mind doesn’t really matter. The story is created through interaction with the viewer and has infinite possibilities. But this is what I had in mind when writing this. And I absolutely love it.

I imagine here two people who are together and work for their love. They fight, they struggle, they question if they’re right for each other. There are a lot of tears and pain, but the good times are so good that it seems like its worth the trade. They try so hard to be better, to be what they think they should be. Ultimately they can only keep trying, keep failing, and keep learning. Each time they push the other away, the ultimately learn how to bring someone closer. Every hurtful word and painful moment teaches them about each other and themselves, and in the end allows them a deep intimate knowledge. With trust and persistence, they can learn how to balance the good and the bad and when they do, their love will be dynamic and impenetrable.


Do you get a different story or tone from this? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments! ✍

Posted in Book Talk

Spine poetry – true story

Why is it so easy to write sad depressing things from book titles? Is this a revelation about what I read? I had no idea…

This session of spine poetry is fully powered by books I’ve read from NetGalley (thanks NetGalley!). It’s a little bit longer, and I was delighted with how well I managed to make it come together. It can also tell the story of another book on my NetGalley list, Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson. Without further ado, here it is:

Big lies in a small town, unearthed
Only mostly devastated
master of
sorrows, scars
like wings.
Lost
and found every colour of you

The art of looking up


The story

As you can see, I got a little more creative with the formatting here instead of just providing the list of book names. I wanted to focus attention on certain words and pairings. The physical shape of it is deliberate, driving down narrower and narrower into the word lost before expanding out again, emphasizing how you can feel like you have less and less.How until you’re able to grow past the darkness, often with the help of someone else, you feel lost. How you can be dazzled back into life by someone else’s reckless happiness (thanks Rooster Teeth).

So how does this align with Every Other Weekend? Well let’s take a look! Big lies, relating to Adam’s discovery of what the heck is going on with his parents. Those are unearthed, leading him to a spiral of anger and fear that he struggles to get out of. Enter Jolene, who has been living in a similar world of family disaster for so long that her hate has crystallized into scars (sometimes more literal than we’d like). Both feel completely lost, and then they find each other. They learn each other and through that, themselves, and ultimately learn how to find joy in any shade of life.


Reviews for each book in this list here!

Every other weekend
Big lies in a small town
unearthed
Only mostly devastated
master of sorrows
scars like wings
Lost and found

every colour of you
The art of looking up