One evening Veena and I had an outing and came back to the room. We were very happy. We had just got a copy of K. Srilata's latest collection of poems Writing Octopus. We started reading the poems aloud. We liked them. There was small talk, poems, love, and laughter. It was beautiful. There were really nice, sweet, fun filled poems. There is a poem about the bright blue bird that flew into her house and,
"When it flies out, leaves behind
its bright blue.
The blue hops down
Becomes first one word,
and then, another,
till, finally, it assumes the face of a poem. "
Then we got to the poem "Not in the Picture". I had read it before and told her so far that was my favourite in the collection. Then she started reading it aloud. The poem ends,
for certain photographs. If you are not watchful,
it can stab you through the heart."
Once the poem was over, there was total silence. No more laughter, no more words. We just sat looking at each other for some time.
These moments are what we get from gifted writers and such moments are what making reading poetry a rewarding experience. It is all the more rewarding, if you have the company of someone who loves poetry as much as you do.
Writing Octopus is a wonderful collection of poetry. This is one enjoyable, readable (read to yourself when you are alone, read out aloud when you are on a high, read to each other when you are in good company kind of readable) collection of poems that I have come across recently. Reading this one is pure joy. It has that power to give you moments to remember. The blue bird that dropped its blue, the baby dolphin in the blueness of the ocean, the oysters stolen from the sea and thrown towards the sky, photographs old and new, and of course the octopus will remain with us long after we have finished reading the collection.