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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Luis

Book Review: 'Paper Cranes' by Tialila Kikon

Paper Cranes is beautiful imagery. Imagery that reminds us of Sadako Sasaki a survivor of Hiroshima atomic bombing, she was an inspiration to her classmates when she determined folded thousand paper cranes. Perhaps this collection of poems titled, “Paper Cranes” is a story of those affected by such atrocities and more. Tialila Kikon wonderfully presents this tragic journey by stringing together words in poetry. She also discloses to us many other devastating facts.

Tialila Kikon, teaches literature at Mount Tiyi Govt. College, Nagaland. She is currently a PhD candidate writing her thesis on Eco-criticism with reference to Toni Morrison's selected novels. Deeply in love with poetry, she is inspired by life, love and nature and believes that humanity is the only religion that can heal the world.

Humanity she feels has become so mean that it propagates terror, greed and hatred and that is the failure of humankind, instead she believes that humanity of peace, love, prosperity, freedom, and concern for one another. Beautiful imagery that describes this fact is, ‘the clouds meet the calm waters and we aren’t ready to be untied.’

The poet questions those individuals who ask for a reason to love because one ought to love freely and without any expectation in return. This is basically the whole theme which the poet in varied ways tries to explicate through her piece of collection. We ought to meet the needs of the marginalized and there are plenty of policies made but they are all fake as per the poet. No doubt the poet has seen through these policies that they seem to promise something good but they are actually harming the minorities. The poet hits on the point that we ought to be alert to the happenings around us that we may not become part of an unjust social structure and forget the poor, the marginalized and the downtrodden.

Apart from questioning war and pain the poet talks of eerie tales of the divide between the rich and the poor. She sings a love song that everyone longs for and prays for everyone humans, animals, birds and for the unfortunate. She points out to the fact that peace dwells within us and that we ought to stand strong and rise.

Some of her poems like, ‘Wooden Hornbills,’ ‘Children of Conflict,’ ‘The Big Divide,’ and ‘A Fleeting Thought’ were my favourites among the beautiful pieces. On this note I would like to do a literary appreciation on the following poem titled, ‘Borrowed Time’

Borrowed Time

on borrowed time We live Forever is But uncertain Yet how we hate How we lie How we greed How we fight.

© Tialila Kikon, 2016

The poet verbalizes the fact that everything that we possess is a gift of God. It is given to us by the Almighty. Thus it is a borrowed time, we ought not to interfere into the lives of the others by taking away what God has given the other. Our jealousies, our hatred at the prosperity of the other, picturizes this fact that we aren’t happy about what God gives the other. Thus the story of lies, hatred, greed and fight go on and on, perpetually. Let us then strive to give to our neighbor what belongs to him or her and store for ourselves only what we need, because everything that we have is of the absolute who has graciously given us.

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