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BOOK: The Inability of Words by Harnidh Kaur

RATING: 5/5

SYNOPSIS: Harnidh Kaur is at present pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy from St. Xavier’s, Mumbai. This is the 21 years old’s first collection of poetry.

REVIEW:

I first found Harnidh Kaur’s poetry on her blog, and suffice it to say, I absolutely loved every one poem that she put up. It was only inevitable that I get a copy of her first book. Harnidh has been an inspiration to me for such a long time that it felt a bit surreal to be holding her book in my hands - with a “love, Harnidh Kaur” signed on it! Also, just look at that gorgeous cover: it's hand-bound with an Indian handloom sari cloth!

Moving on to matters the most, I devoured the book all in one day because I just couldn’t stop reading. The thing about Harnidh’s poetry is that it might not be the kind of poetry Dickinson wrote, or the kind of poetry Plath wrote, or the kind of poetry Kamala Das wrote (those are some of my favourite poets), but it’s the kind of poetry that Harnidh writes. And what’s special about it is that not only is her poetry easy to analyze, but it makes you want to write poetry. Have you ever come across such poetry? Poetry that both boggles your mind, making you doubt you could ever write like this, and makes the creative juices simmer inside of you in anticipation of what they’d be transformed into by you? That is what Harnidh’s poetry does to me.

Although her poetry is easy to analyze, don’t believe for a second that that diminishes its excellence in any way whatsoever. You don’t read Harnidh’s poetry like you would any other poet’s. You’re not even a tiny bit distanced from the poetry. The poetry is you, and you are the poetry, and that makes reading it the most wonderful experience ever. You live her poetry. “Diving in headfirst’ - I use this metaphor quite a lot when I talk about books, but in the case of Harnidh’s poetry, it really is true. I dive headfirst in a poem, and I live a life in there that I might have already lived outside of it but it passed right by me without me being aware of it even existing; inside her poetry, however, there’s this déjà vu of such intensity that you can’t help but swoon a little.

Harnidh says that she writes poetry because she literally thinks in verse, and that is so visible in her poetry. Her poems are rhythmic without having any set tune to them. They are melodious chirpings of thunder. They fall, high and low, as she wishes them to, just like ocean waves do under the reins of the moon. They don’t rhyme, and yet they do, because in their essence is a rhyme that only poetry that flows all diaphanous and poised as hers does, possesses. You see where this poetic review is coming from, right?

To conclude: you should read The Inability of Words. I highly recommend it. It's currently out of stock on Amazon, but you should keep an eye out for it.