3 out of 4 stars
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Of Illusions and Ink Spills is a collection of poems composed by Divya Hirani. I was attracted by the inky black and white cover art. The simple and abstract design matches perfectly with the content. Only 72 pages in length, the book is delightful to read and difficult to understand. Its beauty lies in its obscurity!
The author is a young professional and immigrant who feels lost in the crowd. Her writing flows from an invisible ache in her heart that is seasoned with time, till it spills out as ink turning into free verse poetry.
The poems vary in length and style. They speak of dreams, ambitions, the drama of life, illness, real life, and abstract concepts. They rhyme inconsistently and break into freedom, causing confusion now and then. One is left reflecting on what she means until one begins to read in between the lines. Most of her experiences emerge from the identity crisis caused by immigration. “Why do we prefer one border over the other?” she asks. Divya shares her beautiful moments with her mother. She deals with the sacred as well as profane realms.
There is a blend of medieval, modern, and contemporary themes. Every season brings a different mood. “Let the words take shape as they will,” she reminds the reader. The book ends abruptly, leaving loose ends. What is the poet seeking to convey, if at all?
Writing poems seems to be a powerful inner healing tool for this author. The chaos seeks to turn into a design. Some readers may think her poems make little sense. I feel they lack emotion. The content is neither bitter nor sour nor sweet. It is neither salty nor spicy. It is tasteless ink. The reading is delightful, but I did not experience any strong emotion. Hence, I cannot state what I liked or disliked most about the book. I find it difficult to understand the writer. It is difficult to express my opinion in suitable words.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Divya has the courage to publish her thoughts in her own words. She follows her own grammatical rules. This is normal in poetry. Hence, I cannot comment on whether it is professionally edited. I found only one grammatical error. Philosophers and persons with a poetic outlook will like it. It is suitable for all age groups. Artists may also like to read this collection of poems.
Of Illusions and Ink Spills
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