Who reads poetry these days? The answer is a million people! Rupi Kaur’s self-published book has sold over a million copies and has been a New York Times best seller for over 52 weeks. It is modern poetry, from the perspective of the woman of today. The poems are both feminist and reflective at the same time. Like any collection of poetry, it has a few gems – thoughts so engaging, words so beautifully crafted – that the words just roll off the eyes, leaving a strong impact. And then there are those are ordinary and barely poetry. I am not sure if the huge success if fully deserved – the explicit angle certainly helps. An interesting read, overall.
A Few Moments More
You knock on my door…
And tell me to follow you
It’s time, you say
Time to leave.
I need a few moments more
I need to see how the jasmine I planted come out in the spring
And if the amaltas flowers will be as beautiful this summer.
I need to hear my girl’s laughter once more, See her smile light
up the room once more
I need to take her small hand in mine…
And thank God once more…
I need to visit countries, continents.
I need to see all the world has got to show me.
Oh there is so much I need to do!
Can’t we wait a bit?
Come- let’s wait a bit.
A few moments more
A few years more.
Rupi Kaur’s contribution to the world of books today: Poetry is back in vogue. Syeda’s ‘Love and Pain’ is a compilation of some intense, well-written, and mature poems. Most of the poems are beautiful in how they sound and what they paint. For me, the book scores on three counts: one, there is a lyrical, sing-song quality to the poems that is easy on the ears; second, many of the poems are deeply sensuous, without ever crossing the line into vulgar. It is interesting how the poet captures the sexual tension between a man and woman without using any overt sexual imagery. Third, the poems are very visual, they paint a very vivid picture. The only thing that didn’t work for me was that I didn’t find a flow in the order of poems, a sort of phasing from love to pain that the title and the foreword promised. Also, there was some repetition of ideas. However, overall, a beautiful, and mature compilation, that is a pleasant read indeed.
I read poetry after a long time and enjoyed it. Nair’s poems are short, everyday, and fun. As with any other collection, the quality varies; there are good ones and those that are not so good. But most were enjoyable – very today, fresh and thoughtful. My only complaint – Nair is a stickler for rhyming and sometimes it is limiting – the result can be childish at times. Rhyming is her strong point and rhyming poetry is easy on the eyes but not beyond a point.
You were a rose.
A half blossomed, dew kissed, silky red rose.
From the corner window of my house,
I would’ve admired you smiling in my garden.
A little look at you would’ve made my day.
Would’ve showered all my affections on you,
Caressed you, kissed you and adored you all my life.
When it was your turn to wither away,
Would’ve carefully gathered your soft petals,
And kept them to my heart till death.
You were a rose.
Fetters on my feet,
My hand cuffed.
Tears in my eyes,
I stand stunned.
My tongue glued,
My ears sealed.
My eyes unseeing,
Only heart moved.
Yearning desperately for once sound
The sound…of your voice
…and that alone
But this was the relationship you had decided for us,
And thus was how it ended.
With you free,
And me in the impenetrable prison of your thoughts.
I’ll always remember,
I’ll never forget,
Yet never forgive,
Your one-way calls.
Dream of a lifetime came true
When in the world of stillness,
I met you.
Where the sound of your payal was echoed by stillness,
Where the message in your eyes was conveyed in stillness,
Where your voice evoked a reply of stillness.
Where the trees whispered in stillness,
Birds hopped in stillness,
And blossoms swayed in stillness.
Where only and I moved
And the world watched us,
The still world of chinars, koyals and peach blossoms
Thus was the bliss
of having fallen in love
With stillness…and you.
Sometimes something suddenly shoots right through.
Something hits you hard somewhere.
Catching you unaware.
You grope for breath.
And don’t get it,
What you did to deserve it.
That’s what happened,
When you told me,
Was no longer a part of your life.
Your life was yours…and of somebody else.
And I was alone.
That was when I realized,
That your being a part of my life,
Had meant a lot to me.
In the scorching desert of my life,
You were my only oasis.
It happened suddenly.
Out of the blue.
Singing a song, going around,
Suddenly – the dam burst.
The tears flowed.
The body shook.
The sense of loss, the sense of distance overwhelmed me.
And I realized what I had lost.
That despite the cheerful exterior that I maintained,
How miserable I felt.
Is it my fate to be always unhappy?
Sighing when with you.
And crying when not.
There is so much to say.
So much to hear.
So much to feel.
So much to understand.
One day and one night spent with you,
How can it quench the thirst of so many years.
You are the love of my life.
It will take me a life time to get over you.
On the multi-dimensional cross-ways of life,
If ever…we meet again.
All brown and grey,
the green years far behind us.
What would we say to each other?
What would we talk about?
We’ll untie the untied knots of the years and confess our long-suppressed mingled mutual feelings.
We’ll just say a few formal words of recognition,
And walk away,
Tearlessly and heartlessly on our own separate ways,
Never to meet again!
Even after having seen each other –
we will pretend otherwise.
For, by then,
We would be too worthless,
In the lives of