Sunday, 12 October 2014



(From the foreword by Kris Saknussemm) As with all the poets I most admire, words are living things for Tikuli. But as you will come to discover, they are never deployed for their own sake. She uses them to tell stories. The images, scenes, characters and fragments of visionary empathy that you will find in this book are all rooted in her native India-and yet they reach out far beyond national and cultural boundaries. They do so because they have an interior cohesion of spirit. Her subjects are often the dispossessed, the lost...the abused. There are undercurrents of sorrow and anger. And yet love shines through, even when it seems to be fading away. Above all, there's a powerful sense of hope at work-a conviction in the redemptive strength of poetry.

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As a friend mentioned in our Book Club group - what is not there to like in poetry?
This is true for all poetry lovers as every poem has an element or an aspect which certainly will touch our heart. Poetry is the reflection of the poet, sometimes a shadow, the celebration of a life or even the pathos.

Here, the poet starts off with a positive note - "Poems dwell in the possibilities and the impossibilities of the mind." For a poet, the whole world is a poem, finding inspiration and meaning in the minute and the mundane with the capability of transforming it to something grand or huge and also reduced it to a rubble...the poet is capable of all.

Chaotic - that's how our emotions are...sometimes a roller coaster ride and sometimes a yo-yo. We have the capacity of going from one end of the spectrum to another in a jiffy and here Tikuli has done a very good job of capturing them all.

Be it the frailty of life, solitude, war, barbaric acts by the patriarchal society, the strength of a women to shine through the troubles...the poet has etched it all beautifully.

"a dry weed
broken from its roots
adrift in the sea of abuse..." This is the state of many women these days. And more over the abuse is disguised in the form of a husband, lover, father, boss, brother or any other male member whom she trusts.

I think for some reason the editors have neatly sectioned the poems in an order...the frailty of life, wars, abuse of women, poems on trees, then some subtly sensual and some overtly bold poems where the longing for the partner is the highlighted then lastly to the "silence" that can be deafening....but this sectioning of the poems makes it look repetitive....especially, the last section on silence.

When someone gives a title to a poem, it steers our thinking in that direction and in a way limits or confines the meaning within that. But here, the lack of titles creates a suspense and leaves it open ended for the reader to interpret the way they want to. And again, because there are no titles, it gets difficult to understand where one poem ends and when the next one begins. There had to be some demarcation which would have made it easier for the readers.

What I like the most about poetry is the ability to say more in very less words - 
"I miss the taste of the sun
its sweet heat dripping
from your mouth to mine"

"Laid to rest-
Tide in neat bundles
Darkness a ribbon." 

"Your words-
Hired assains."

Need I say more, do read the book to experience the chaos.

About the Author:


Brought up in Delhi in a family of liberal educationists Tikuli is a mother of two sons. She is also a blogger and author. Some of her short stories and poems have appeared in print and in online journals and literary magazines including Le Zaparougue, MiCROW 8, Troubadour21, The Smoking Book (Poets Wear Prada Press, US), The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Mnemosyne Literary Journal, Women's Web.
Some of her print publications include poems in Guntur National Poetry Festival Anthology and much acclaimed Chicken Soup For The Indian Romantic Soul(Westland). Her work has also been featured on websites related to gender issues and child sexual abuse. She blogs at 
Stalk her @



1 comment:

  1. Thank you Janaki for this indepth review. Appreciate your comments. They will help me in my evolution as a poet/writer.


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