How often do we run out of words (and thoughts) whilst speaking? There are countless instances wherein it becomes difficult for us to put words into our thoughts. Well, that is because not all emotions can be described in words. However, emotions can be best expressed in the form of poetry.
If you get your hands on the book, then do make it a point to read the preface. This is how the first sentence goes:
‘Writing is a way of expressing one’s feelings.’
I couldn’t have agreed more with this statement for it resonates with me. There are times when our words are misconstrued, often without reason or purpose. ‘Echoing a Shadow’, a compilation of poems dealing with love and loss written by Soniya Kanchan brings to light the extent of insecurity (and fragility) prevalent in our minds.
As many as 26 poems would greet you as you begin to flip through the pages. ‘A Conversation’ is the first of the 26 poems that you’d come across. Ornamenting the poem is a set of carefully-chosen words. It is with utmost earnestness that the poetess highlights the need to indulge in a hearty little conversation. It is a given fact that words can be misconstrued, but silence, too, much like words, is prone to misinterpretation.
Here is an excerpt from the poem:
‘Maybe the song of life will hit us both.
Don’t stop, be the voice of your soul.
Let’s have a conversation.
Do you mind?
You and me, alone.’
Similarly, ‘Mask’ explores the sheer superficiality of a smile. It also throws ample light on the fact that not all smiles are genuine. All of us, out of insecurity, end up ornamenting our faces with smiles (and giggles) that are just as fragile as our godforsaken memories.
The writer has not tried to bombard the readers with words and emotions. Each of the poems would take less than a minute to read. The laconic nature of the poems makes ‘Echoing a Shadow’ an easy-breezy read.
Moving on, all of the poems would be able to resonate with the masses. Be it men in their late 30s or young adults, everybody would enjoy reading this bite-sized compilation of poems and verses.
The entire anthology revolves around a particular line of thought, i.e. the transience of life and happiness. On a largely personal note, reading the book made me realise that Eventually, every single thing returns to the ash it came from. Well, it does get a bit pessimistic, but there’s something immensely likeable about it. Simply put, most of the poems you’d come across are achingly-desperate. The vulnerability would engulf you as soon as you read these verses. Vulnerability keeps piling up around us all the time, much like the books we’ve never read.
Also, accompanying each of the poems is a black and white photograph. Apart from providing visual relief, these photographs spark nostalgia. Moving on, many of the poems would remind you of the works of Pablo Neruda and P.B. Shelley.
It’s crisp, it’s concise, it’s cabalistic, and it’s carefully worded. To top all, ‘Echoing a Shadow’ is a book that you ought to have if you are an ardent fan of contemporary poetry.
Well, there are no loose ends, to say the least. Pessimism sits at the heart of this compilation, and there is ample meat in most of the poems to keep the readers hooked.
My Top 5 picks from the book are:
‘Echoing a Shadow’, with all its rawness and charm, is a must-read for all fans of contemporary poetry. Pick up a copy right this moment.