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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Luis

Book Review: 'With Blue Ink of the Oceans' by Anu Joshy

Anu Joshy has been an acclaimed poet in India. For her poetry that is superbly overloaded with intense thought, grossness of the issues, her simplicity and docile mannerism in delivering her emotions expressively.

Her earlier anthologies like ‘When My Heart Speaks,’ which was published in 2008 and ‘Of the Lesser Known,’ published in 2011, has given her the sense to open up her mind to the realities of life. Apart from the awards she won for poetry like the ‘Challenge Memorial Award for English Poetry 2011’ she makes a drastic impression on the reader by her realistic and lively poetry in her very recent collection of poems titles ‘With Blue Ink of the Oceans.’

Much before I get into the appreciation of her work I would like to state that reading this work has truly sensitized and alerted my mind towards the impending trouble a woman goes through her lifetime.

The cover page of the book is pretty simple depicting the face of a girl, very artistic presentation indeed. Although a few grammatical hiccups one can notice but they are avoidable due to the intensity of Anu Joshy’s poetry.

Poems like, ‘nomad,’ ‘red riding hood the fifth,’ ‘my lover has a girlfriend,’ and ‘haunt me not’, are some of the poems that I loved reading and grasping what they meant. The book is a collection of truly realistic, unforgettable, picturesque description of a life of a woman. Anu Joshy has worded each poem from her heart for sure, because no word stands separate from the poem. Each word gives meaning to the issue or incidence, she has described or illustrated. You can imagine and feel what she poetically pours. I really had a marvelous time reading this piece of literature, rejuvenating myself to respect women out there, struggling at times to receive the dignity that they deserve. Although Anu Joshy doesn’t at all times display a negative image of men, but she does imply that, men have devastated the lives of women to some extent.

The following is her first poem in this book and I would like to do a literary appreciation of the poem:

Disowning Sorrow

Sorrow wanders my courtyard

And calls to me like a crying child.

Lost in my happy chores, I’m ruffled

By the sound of its clinking anklets

At night, my dreamless sleep

Is broken by sorrow that

Calls out to me from its crib.

It looks at me longingly

With sad eyes and hungry lips,

My soul brims

I give in and cradle it fondly,

Sorrow then cackles

Showing its toothless gum

And feeds on my bosom

And goes off to sleep…

© Anu Joshy, 2016

(With Blue Ink Of The Oceans)

The poet Anu Joshy has personified Sorrow, an abstract reality. She has also used onomatopoeia in the poem for instance, clinking anklets. Anu Joshy describes the characteristics of sorrow by using similes. The poem ‘Disowning Sorrow’ portrays how sorrow lurks about us. The important fact we ought to remember here is whenever sorrow comes we must accept it with a smile. Just like we have often heard that everything happens for good. The poem is an eye opener to the fact that life is not always a bed full of roses. There are happy moments and moments of sorrow intertwined.

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