Potkar speaks with the cutting clarity of a woman wholly engaged with the world. She writes from the gilded moment vulnerability becomes knowledge, and then when knowledge becomes wisdom. The result, in all cases, is the poem: clever and crafted to a kind of broken perfection’ the cracks show, but the shattered places are dusted with powdered gold. ‘If a day is a life, a word is a story,’ Potkar writes. Her poetry condenses life into a gilded day, a story into a single word, as only a masterful poet can do it, or a woman can feel it. Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta
“How we Measured Time by Sivakami Velliangiri, gives us poetry of a childhood remembered, perhaps now and then fictionalised –memory is such a dicey thing. The poetry is rooted in nostalgia, memories rooted in the house and the mill compound she grew up in, and yet there is no sentimentality attached to it. There are moments when the poetry is uplifting, her mother identifying ‘serpents/ by the design of their costume’, a grandfather lifting her ‘to the coastline of his shoulders’. And a past advances towards the reader, the silence before a solar eclipse, the hubbub of a Kerala elephant-chase.’
After reading the book, one is left with a haunting feeling of something that cannot be revived but lived only through the traces that it leaves in the mind. The poet dives deep into the labyrinths of time to fish out moments that are close to her.
Details that would otherwise be overlooked take on a life of their own and narrate their stories for those who are willing to listen. Medha Singh’s poems demand the reader to not be a mute spectator but feel these snippets of memories as much as they yearn to share. Powerful imagery and the attempt to capture them through words has been done beautifully. – Semeen Ali
For Medha Singh, the poem is often a subterfuge for story; the desire to be a poet is a circularity of purpose; and poetry itself is the beginning and end of trust. Prickling in all directions, uneven, at times unsteady, she chases “itinerant darkness”, achieves rare moments of equanimity, even grace. Mundane reality is a fitting anti-climax, closure an escape.
“Perhaps most abundant of all in a book of such magnitude are poems that invoke the people, places and things that have forged the poet’s sensibility and sculpted her faith in the beauty and power of language;poems expressed at times with brilliant?