Thursday, May 27, 2021

Hope, Nostalgia and a Big Blue Sky -- a book review for #BlogchatterEbookCarnival

This is a brilliant read.

Title: She and other Poems

Author: Huma Masood

Format: PDF E-book

The eye-catching artwork of the cover attracted me to pick this book. It held promise and I'm glad to say it didn't disappoint. Like any good book or film, I was left with the lingering feeling of wanting a bit more, not ready for it to end. 

The dedication page is a poster worth sharing widely. 

This collection of poems is divided into 4 sections: She, Dilemma, Inspired and Random Thoughts. There are a total of 33 poems. Each section has been designed with its unique and aesthetically pleasing colour scheme.

"Colours have the power to

change our mind and mood"

The art on the pages preceding each section has been picked with such care that if I was holding a physical copy of this book, I would've stared at these pages for long periods of time before diving into the next section. 

Born out of the poet's self-isolation, the poems delve into challenges faced by one and all in these times of the pandemic and yet, a sense of rejuvenation, hope and belief in the transformative powers of human endurance keeps the reader company throughout.

"We are like little birds in different types of cages."

Despite the isolation which is palpable in some of the poems, the book looks to new beginnings like night looks to day; quite sure of the inevitability of light after dark.

One poem that stood out for its power to connect is Black &White Pictures: 'A poem inspired by the Turkish resistance movement by the women against the prevailing extreme domestic abuse.'

It shows just how effortlessly poetry can connect causes, responses and  humans despite isolation and distances. The skill of the poet lies in the fact that she manages to do all this in just a few lines.

 "Stereotyping often leads people to make unfair

decisions based on poor

reasoning and gossip"

Leads you to another gem: They Chatter. In five short lines, Huma instils confidence in every heart that was ever hurt either by their own family/friends/ lovers or by the unknown trolls of social media. Brilliant.

I'm sharing one of Huma's poems here to illustrate the power of her words. It's called The Scarpbook and it appears in the 'Dilemma' section of the book.

"The forgotten nook

And that old xanthic scrapbook

Smelling oh so good"

As you continue reading, Haikus paint colours of Autumn and blue skies open you up to the peace that dwells in Huma's poetry. The reader feels tranquil while she reads and re-reads the lines on her laptop screen.

Nostalgia and hope will keep you hooked till the very last page. I read this book in one go and then went back to read each section separately.

As a lover of the written word, I'm drawn to poetry and often try my hand at crafting poems myself.  I'm verbose by choice because I love words. They say opposites attract. So, when I come across poets and writers who's carefully chosen few words not only speak volumes, but do it so gently and effectively that their thoughts and passions linger beyond the full stop, beyond the page, I bow my head in awe, in reverence. Huma's poetry (every section and every page) had that effect on me.

"Words are like bees. Some make honey, others leave a sting.

-Unknown"

The poet draws our attention to the power of words. She leads by example. Use them wisely, her poetry suggests.

"The words we use are powerful. They

can motivate us or tear us down.

And once spoken they can't be

undone easily"

Nodding to fresh beginnings, buzzing with bees, hopeful and open like beautiful blue skies, this poetry collection doesn't ignore to pay attention to the brand new pair of high heels that are yearning to feel the gravel underneath. Their hankering for travel is captured in the poet's lines.

And yet, the reader feels as hopeful as clay on a potter's wheel, about to be moulded into any number of possibilities, and as full of promise as the seed that is about to sprout in spring because the poet believes that 'the pressure you face expands your horizons.' And she manages to convince the reader too, gently.

Don't think too much. Just download the book and enjoy your weekend. It's beautiful through and through.

It's only when I read 'about the author' section at the end of the book that I realised that 'Huma is registered with Canva as a contributor'. That's when the penny dropped. No wonder the book looks so beautiful, I thought and smiled. Lucky us. If and when this book reincarnates in a physical form, I'd like to hold it and place it lovingly on my shelf of poetry books, next to Tagore and Carol Ann Duffy.

In the meantime, I will read Huma's poetry and copy her modus operandi.

'I read, I indulge

I see the beautiful world

Curled up on my couch'

This book is a visual and literal treat. Not to be missed if you're keen to see clear blue skies of hope in these uncertain times.

The book is free to download now. You can get it here: She and other poems by Huma Masood

PS. This book is part of #BlogChatteEbook carnival in which my book, And all the Seasons in between is also a part.

12 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    I do so enjoy poetry... but I have promised myself not to add to my reading pile until I have caught up and reduced it somewhat. However, I shall be remembering this fine review and return when the time is ripe! YAM xx

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    1. You'll love Huma's poetry Yamini.
      And I'm with you on the 'tbr' piles and lines. I only download the next book once I'm done reading and reviewing one. The good thing about these lot of e-books is that they're shorter reads.

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  2. The verses you quoted here are among my favourites. Pleased to know you liked them too. Thank you so so much, Arti. I really appreciate you taking the time to write this review. Have a wonderful day!

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    1. You're very welcome Huma. My review reflects exactly how I felt about the book. At a time like this, you've managed to create a work of beauty and hope and strength. Well done. Enjoy your weekend.

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  3. Not easy to review a poetry book. But you have done it very effectively.

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    1. Thank you so much. Huma's poetry made it easy for me:)

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  4. I was in awe when I went through the book. Its beautiful! And your review has only added to its charm. such a well crafted review. Loved it.

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    1. Thank you Chinmayee:)
      I heard your talk on Fb on reviewing after I'd written both my reviews! Phew! Glad, I managed to express how I felt about the book:) I wrote from the heart and I guess it worked.
      Huma's poetry and book are both fabulous.

      The reviewing tips you and Shantanu shared will come in handy. Thank you for doing the segment.

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  5. Poets deserve all the awe and claps. They do so much in so little!

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    1. Truly Suchita. Thank you for reading the review.

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  6. You love words. I too. That's what bond us together.

    The review is super, of course.

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