The Silk of Hunger


By Vinita Agrawal

Published: March 2016

Publishers: AuthorsPress, Delhi, India

Review by Russel Micnhimer

As I began reading this fine collection of poems, I soon got a feeling that there was a deep theme of absence revealing itself in many of the poems.  When I reached the end, the poet revealed, what is perhaps, the reason is for this.  But there is plenty else happening in between.

Using language that frequently sings with subtle interior rhymes we hear the poet celebrate the intricate gritty details of nature, as in the poem Raw Silk, and its processes in unique and wonderful ways.  And beneath all the visceral awareness of the physical detail we sense the relentless cycle of time going on.  This is something even a lot of mature poets are incapable of doing and it points to the acuity with which this one meets her world and shares her perceptions of it with the reader. Her delightful renderings of the lighter side of it, as in the lines “Where the mud tightens over your ankles in a fist like grip, making you revel in its hold.” “All I was here for was some honest to goodness love. The colour of rain,” and “I want to feel the warmth of my company in the sweet zephyrs of solitude,”are well balanced by the darker side of time in such poems as House for Sale, But a Flower and Dawn.  She exquisitely embraces the passage of time with the intricacies of life, with such powerful and memorable lines as “Morning is like a tree straight and tall when it starts/ until it gets tangled in its own branches as the day goes on.”  Her deep sense of passion about time is exhibited particularly well in New Year Resolution, House for Sale and Face Reading.

The well-crafted detail in lines such as, “Forever was what you left behind. What you forgot to carry in your purse. Forever was the first cigarette you smoked to ashes here, in the glitter of this charcoal night.” make the reader keep turning to the next page to discover the next gem.  And she does not disappoint.

She shows us her deep sense of passion about time like in New Year Resolution and House for Sale and Face Reading.  Then brings it all down to a very personal level in the end with The Night of Fathers Passing. Concluding with lines that may well sum up the book and its raison d’ etre, “I want to give back what I’ve taken – everything except the pain. I want to pass on the smiles, hide the awful stains.” In this reviewer’s opinion, she accomplishes this with much finesse in this memorable volume.

You can find the book here:

Russel Micnhimer is the author of several books on rock art, fiction and poetry including Notes to Be Left with the Gatekeeper published by Global Fraternity of Poets which earned him the honor of Poet Laureate Award from that group.  He lives in Oregon, USA


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