Words Bind us in a Strange Bond…

I have never come across a more comprehensive analysis of my poetry. This review of my latest poetry book ‘Timeless Echoes’ at insaneowl.com by Fiza Pathan has enlightened me about my own poems! I am amazed at her interpretations and had to go back to those poems to understand them anew after reading her thoughts about them. I have realized how vague thoughts speak differently to readers, refreshing their own memories!

‘My First Love’ is one such abstract poem, where my love for books is expressed through metaphors but has been construed differently. I am delighted to note that my poetry has been called “therapeutic,” “a soothing balm to the spirit of a poetry lover.”

Though Fiza has copyrighted her review, I take this liberty to quote her:

“These poems are tender, soothing and beautiful, and a must read for all of us poetry lovers stuck on our old memories and times not forgotten. I really think Balroop should go in for poetry therapy because her poems really are like the soothing touch of a grandmother’s gentle hand on a fevered brow.”

Thank you so much Fiza, for your critique. We may be sitting at the extreme corners of the globe but words bind us in a strange bond.

Please click here to read the full review of Timeless Echoes by Fiza Pathan.

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Image: © Fiza Pathan

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The NEA reports an increased interest in poetry.

Balroop Singh.

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Poetry Books with a Difference

I would like to share these poetry books with you, which touched me deeply:

41NExciOU6L._SR126,200_Stranger Paths: The Magic in the Madness Poetry Collection by R.J. Zarkani speaks eloquently about war-torn Iraq and the eternal emotional bruises that a little girl carried within her, wondering why her father told her to get inside when she wanted to see the “fireworks making a day out of night,” – a child’s perspective about war.

All the pearls in this book belong to the same string that broke and scattered. Zarkani’s yearning to meet the child who “swallowed the smoke” and got lost in the explosions didn’t wane years after she migrated to an alien land, in search of peace and freedom. Roots pull her; stars and the clouds appear familiar but there is a strange disconnect that seems inexplicable, as she was told “you don’t look like a terrorist!”

Superb imagery that R.J. uses blends in her reflections about “creatures crawled out of her book,” a book that calls her, visions that haunt her, images of the past linger, fairies that lived on her kitchen sink still sing; memories stand before her, trying to sweep her away into the world she still loves… ‘shoes filled with mud’ seem dearer… ‘rain in the desert’ – a childhood memory returns as Raghad writes the poignant story of the moments she treasures.

41TYVhHDryL._SR133,200_Journey to the Rainbow’s End: A Drag Queen’s Odyssey by Forrest Stepnowski is a brilliant anthology of blank verse and a short story that dwells on the hope of being accepted the way one is… “To be my own star.” It gives voice to all those persons of LGBTQ community, who slip into the abyss of self-loathing because of orthodox, judgmental society that spews hatred against them, declaring them “gay,” “immoral” and “abnormal.”

Each poem in this collection makes a poignant appeal to the society to understand the pain and ridicule that they have to undergo because of the apathetic attitude of the people around them, who push them into the closet, compelling them to face “The silent horror of being” and are forced to snub “the darkest secrets” but who crave for love to lead a normal life.

This is a distressing journey of emotional upheavals, a clarion call to find their own voice and light by breaking free from the shackles that threaten to suffocate them, by accepting that strength lies within. This book must be read by everybody as it contains profound words for those who look down upon other human beings.

51h1UkHNvmL._SR125,200_‘Open a New Door’ by Kim Blades and Robbie Cheadle is a collection of poems, inspired from life in Africa and people who make it good, bad or ugly. All aspects are portrayed in a plausible manner.

Both Kim and Robbie have a similar style of writing blank verse, some of the themes too are identical. Realism is the hallmark of their poetry, as they talk about life and people in clear words; imagination takes a back seat. Deeply moved by poverty around her, Robbie has highlighted it in many poems. If ‘The Boys under the Bridge’ brings out the plight of the homeless youth, The Silver Lining underlines the uplifting spirits of a youngster carrying a load of recyclables with abandon, The Beggar’s Child mocks at the apathy of the passers-by but ‘The Golden Light’ focuses on helping the underprivileged children of a school in a squatter camp with books – a wonder gift for them.

Kim seems to be an ardent animal lover because many of her poems celebrate wild life and give a vivid description of how a cheetah hunts its prey, how mother cheetah nurtures her cubs, how a lion lies on golden grass, even her Utopia mentions “stamping buffalo.” Iconic South African birds too catch her attention to inspire a poem. The opening lines of ‘Lessons Learned in a rural village’ seem to be inspired from William Blake’s poem ‘The Little Black Boy.’

Some of the poems are too personal and comment on how life unfolds, offering unforgettable memories, moments of exhilaration and dismay, travails of a working mother and insecurities of an empty nest but they all make life worth living. Heaviness of this book would linger around you even when you finish and put it away.

Thank you for reading this post. Do you have a book in mind that has touched you deeply? Please share your reflections.

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– Balroop Singh

 

 

Book Review ~ “Sublime Shadows of Life” by Balroop Singh

Dorinda Duclos, a poet par excellence has reviewed my debut book ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ I hope you would like to read her wonderful 5 star review and share it.
When a poet of Dorinda’s caliber reviews poetry, and gives a positive view, it tinges every nerve and sinew.

The poems in this collection talk about bruised emotions and lost passions, which linger around us even when we try to bury them. While these poems give them a channel to flow freely, they also send vibes of positivity to deal with their shadows.

The journey of putting this book together.

Night Owl Poetry - Dorinda Duclos

From the author herself:

“Sublime Shadows of Life is a comment on life, its turbulent curves and relationships. It envisions people through the prism of poetry. I, you, he, we and they are universal symbols which highlight the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.”

My Review:

“Sublime Shadows of Life is a perfectly titled book, from author Balroop Singh. Each poem easily glides into the next yet, each one is its own entity. Singh captivates your heart, drawing you into her words, allowing you to feel the pain, the love, the longing for lost possessions and the fear of death. These…

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Book Review: Timeless Echoes by Balroop Singh

Maniparna’s reviews are a delight to read! Her eclectic prose and poetry would allure you! I am elated at her beautiful words that describe my poetry!

Her choice of words and excerpts, the quote that she has used to describe my book has taken me over to the moon! I am glad she has savoured the poems slowly…they can be read again and again and I too derive solace from some of them whenever I read them. “Some hues of life change from time to time, but eventually, their changing shades are etched in our hearts. Balroop has given words to those shades, those emotions of life.”…love that description Mani!
Many thanks!

Scattered Thoughts

baal

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested”– this quote of Francis Bacon immediately came to my mind after I finished reading Balroop Singh’s latest collection of poems, “Timeless Echoes”.

I was quite busy for a couple of months and during those days, whenever I managed some “me time”, I used to read a few poems from the book. I could have read the book all in a go; the poems are neither big nor complicated, but I wanted to savour their myriad flavours, wished them to linger in my mind. That’s the way Balroop composed her poems, as Bacon had said, her book is meant to be chewed and digested. [Balroop’s poems are a pleasure to read, I already know that as I follow her blog regularly and, have reviewed her previous book Emerging From Shadows.]

The…

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‘Timeless Echoes’ is Here!

Book cover

Timeless Echoes is just a click away now. Click on the link to download it and hear the echoes that would reverberate around you, reminding you of lost opportunities, repressed desires, cherished moments and hope that shimmers through clouds.

Here are all the links:

US UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

When Echoes Vibrate

Lilies in the garden spoke to me
Birds sang merrily
Clouds of gloom disintegrated
When I let these echoes vibrate

Mute watchers warbled
Fluttering fervently around me
Stirring hopeful messages
Of joy and bliss

When smoke of your love
Tried to asphyxiate me
When dreams got besieged
I flew on the wings of words

Fears receded when
Sun spread its gold
Creating a fusion of colors
Silently illuminating life.© Balroop Singh

The Editor’s Review:

Half of what we say are lies although they might be considered true, but truth with one’s self is an accepted bundle of lies except for those rare moments of self-realization. These lines right at the start of Timeless Echoes, ‘Each moment is precious, we try to cage it within our heart, where it perches in perfect rampart, embalmed by memories,’ reveal how this book is a healer, promising to lay bare the ills of the soul as it soothes, cleanses, and nurtures; instilling in us a will to learn and live without fear, and a will to not hurt others: ‘Why can’t our hearts feel the hurt we hurl at others?’

Balroop’s new book is a steadfast repudiation of those ills that we painfully hide under the covers of our flesh to present the polished exterior as truth. This magnetic collection of poems highlights our precious human lives with all their varied emotions and imposing relations: the lives often blinded by the strictures of the self-made duplicity, an excessively common phenomenon. ‘Listen to your heart, my friend. It knows you well,’ she writes.

I treasure these ‘forgetting fragile facets of love, facade of fading memories, echoes of dwindling love, is all I have now, yet love echoes refuse to subside’ believing that love echoes are soul-launched signals, ready to hug our pretenses to forge a divine assimilation because the struggle has always been with the self that we excommunicate to build up a wall, which obscures the travails plaguing the core. And finding a path to the core is the cure since there’s no villainy in the soul.

As Balroop proclaims ‘love is such a strange emotion, it gives less, it claims more…the facade of love is so delusive,’ I concur how our infirmities require urgent banishment, more pressing now than ever. And once I’ve made peace with the self, ‘the dark corridors are like meadows, they glow with my presence.’ Yes, without an iota of my own falsehoods plaguing me.
  Mahesh Nair

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Balroop Singh.