“Spilling Silence” is a collection of poems by Jyotsana Atre. These poems are based on memories, thoughts, emotions, and on events happening around us, involving us. The poems are on love, heartbreak, solitariness, cyber-bullying, feminism, consent, class divide and even Covid. Before each poem, the poetess has included some words describing her thoughts/inspiration for the poem. The images and postcards tie each poem and its words. The book starts from sepia-tinted memories but by the end, becomes a commentary on current times. There is a common theme of postcards addressed to the memories running through the collection.
The cover of “Spilling Silence” was what first attracted me to the book. The blot of ink, with the pen poised above, waiting, was so evocative of the writing process. The image is a metaphor for writers searching, waiting for the right words to express thoughts, emotions. And leaving many unsaid, unwritten.
Jyotsana’s words flow lyrically, engaging the reader’s mind and heart. As a reader, you marvel at her ability to string together words that ebb and flow. You keep thinking about the poems and the words long after you have finished reading the book. The topics are those that have touched all of us.One of my favourite poems from the book is “Kaikeyi“, written from the perspective of one of the most vilified characters of Indian mythology. Reading “Kaikeyi” forces you to question and challenge what has been taught and accepted throughout the years. Another poem that made an impact was “Red, stained with good fortune“. Its words, almost ironic. The poem “Tears Of Shame” makes you remember the recent offensiveness of Mr Imran Khan and all the others who blame the victim rather than the perpetrators of rape. The poem is almost like a silent scream, as it points out the truth, shaking the reader’s emotions with words. “Death Of A Dialogue” was heartbreaking in its poignancy.
Reviewing a poetry book is very difficult. How do you find the words that convey the emotions aroused on reading the poems? There is a tinge of nostalgia, a hint of anger, a dash of helplessness in the poems. The verses are simple, free-flowing but have the ability to arouse powerful emotions. It is not a light, easy read that makes you feel buoyant. Rather the book provokes you to think about issues you might have ignored or swept under the carpet.
“Spilling Silence” is bewitching, disturbing and haunting!
This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’
Read on for the book blurb and to know more about the author
Spilling the Silence is a collection of poems that began as postcards from the author’s memory, but soon expanded into a commentary on the times we are living in. They are as much her words, as also a reflection of the thoughts that remain unsaid for so many of us.
About The Author
Words can create stories, animate characters, paint landscapes. Poems go beyond, to distill thoughts and express with a singularity of purpose. When she is not writing, you will find Jyotsna enjoying the great outdoors. Her last tryst with the A2Z challenge resulted in a lively and lyrical book about creatures of the wild. In 2021, she addresses the themes of Love, Life and Loss.