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Loveish – Book Review

Home > Everywhere > Books and Writing | Literary | Poetry
by Steven G (subscribe)
Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published January 31st 2020
Book of love poetry
I have been dipping my toes into poetry a little more frequently lately. Part of it is due to the fact that is one of the subjects I am studying at university (seriously), and part of it is the fact that I have been selling some poetry just recently and so have got into looking at other stuff.

Well, through the joys of the Internet, I have been reading quite a deal of independently published poetry. In fact, it seems the only way new poets get published is by doing it themselves, especially if their poetry is not a lengthy screed about how rotten the world is today. Now, as usual, a lot of what I have read has been rubbish. In fact, I have not reviewed a book of poetry since N.E. Teeuw's wonderful One Hundred Valentines.

Well, I have found another book of poetry I have enjoyed, and it is another book of love poetry. It is a few years old, but that does not matter.

I present to you Loveish by Sakshi Narula (2018).
Sakshi, poet, poem, Narula, book, collection, Loveish

It is separated into three sections. 'Love' which is a series of love poems, some quite deep and personal. 'Lust' is next, and things get deeper, but there are also underlying not entirely positive elements in many of the poems. And finally, there is 'Loveish/Melancholia' which is the relationship falling apart. These are some of the hardest poems to read because of just how stark they are.

So, as I did with Teeuw's book, here are 15 of my favourites from this fine collection.

'Love at first sight' is a decent little poem that struck me. I've only had the experience once, and, yes, it felt a lot like this.

'Sea' is a very good metaphor used well in this case without resorting to clichι.

'Sunflowers' had a strange feel of melancholy about it. There is love there, but after poems of adoration, this has questions.

'Fly' is a study of impatience and waiting and longing, and has a great line sequence: "Impatient for you to mix your cologne/ with the kick of caffeine in my bloodstream" Such a wonderful word image, involving the underutilised sense of smell. Beautiful.

'The whisper' was a poem I felt compelled to read a few times. I couldn't tell you why, but it struck a chord in me that I could not ignore. So nicely dine. But then the last two lines, with no mention of the word "love", give a strange feel to the whole thing. Striking.

'Beautiful misery' is a poem that I felt was tinged with a definite hint of sadness. There was love there, but "Your memories are poisoning/ all the sunshine that exists within me" is not a positive spin on the whole exercise. Nicely done.

'Poetic' is one of my favourites in the collection. She knows the man she loves is no good, but there is something about him that stirs something in her. And it feels like it builds up, driving her onwards. No simple "I love you" here – this is something deeper that she needs.

'Profane' had a real sense of sadness about it, a sense of something lost. It is a poem about vulnerability, and yet desire. So sad.

'Craved' really got to me. I can relate. This is me after my marriage broke up. This is me after I lost Barbara and Clare back in high school. She hit every emotion so perfectly:

"The space between my clavicles felt heavy
like the weight of the whole universe
rested on the thin air

Stunning piece. Just stunning.

'Optimism' is short but really stark, and something I think a lot of people can relate to after a break-up. Maybes and What ifs indeed.

'Actor' Two lines, That's all. And a universal truth too many of us know.

'Sorry' is a really strong piece. The whole break-up, the love, the loss, the need to leave, the want to stay – it's all there. The feeling of this is so low and depressing – it is so well written.
"I was dying to run back to you,
dying to kiss you one last time
dying to say that I love you

But I'm sorry, I am so sorry
I had to break your heart
Yet the poem asks: whose heart was broken?

'What about me?' is another short poem, but the power of those last three lines just hit.

'Loveish' is another striking and sad poem. Finally, she has let go of him. It was hard, but she's done it. And yet… doubts are still there.

'Love, me' is a letter of goodbye, but also of what could have been. Yet there is not a finality about it.

I had the opportunity to ask Sakshi a couple of questions about her poetry.

1) Are the poems autobiographical? Some? None?
I approach poetry very differently. I am not a very open person so sharing anything about my life is not easy for me. However poetry as most believe is confessional to a great extent. This is what I do, I build a story around an emotion. The emotions are mine however the story maybe fictional. For eg: the poem Famous is a poem about a dream and is entirely fictional, based on the feeling of longing for someone you thought was the one. It is something I felt at one point in my life but the story in the poem is all fiction. On the other hand there are some really raw and open pieces in the book... pieces like The Shower, The Middle, Tell Him among others are very real

2) How long have you been writing poetry?
I used to be a blogger and a content creator. I used to write articles for websites, ghost write for some. But poetry is something I just started writing a few years ago. I started sharing it on social media just three years ago.

3) What are your writing plans going forward?
I just finished editing and designing my second poetry book and I am trying to find an agent to represent me. As we all know agents are not too keen on representing poets because it is a fairly niche genre. But it is encouraging to see a lot of poets from Instagram make it to the bookshelves. This year I also intend to start writing a children's poetry book. It's just an idea in my head at the moment and I will be starting work on it soon.

Now, I am not saying this is a perfect collection. A few of the poems veer towards clichι, and there were some I did not understand the meaning behind. But those were few and far between. On the whole, this is another good, strong collection of love poetry.

I really do recommend it.

Sakshi, poet, poem, Narula, book, collection
Sakshi Narula

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