Tansheer: Poetry Blog Review
I find myself composing simply more formal in order to compensate for the time wasted in reviewing Naira’s poetry blog; and, not to my surprise, I have happened upon a uniquely talented poetess. It is with clear diversity in ethnic narrative and folklore that her work surprises me in complicated, and pleasing, ways. Naira’s poetry is pronouncedly delicate, thoughtful, and equally longing. This morning, when contemplating where to begin, I stumbled upon her, then, newest “He hated travelling,” and concluded this first dip in the pond, as one might call it, as particularly deep. The clearly sarcastic tone of the poem takes the reader, not by surprise, through the perception of a young woman against a normative culture, vying to change the standard by revealing (in a rather negative light) the opposite gender. The diction seethes with tension; and, by and by, the poem moves politically to justify the triumphant activism of the individual “woman.” Of course, I find myself wanting a little more improvement from the use of punctuation—it is my opinion, and she is welcome to disagree, that this poem would do very well with the absence of the various commas, semicolons, and periods. The flow wants open space, especially as the lines get shorter towards the end, and she does this well. Moreover, I think some of the italics are unnecessary, especially “huge” with the added parenthesis as well as “people” in line 21. But, I will not leave off on a critical note; in fact, I have much praise for her work, especially the wonderfully-wrought first stanza, which so powerfully pulls my attention in that I am hooked for the majority.
I must say that when I first visited Naira’s blog, the poem that caught my initial interest was “A stormy cataract;” no doubt that it should be my favorite of the several I have had the opportunity to read (though, I do not limit myself to an ultimate favorite, as there is still much left to explore in her realm!) The imagery of the eyes juxtaposed with zucchini is superb; and though the structure seems to dwindle a little towards the end (I see that she is trying to play with sounds and length-patterns), I am generally interested in how well she uses the cultural-specific terms (such as dablana.) The narrative structure is strong: Naira really has something to say about family roots and folklore, longing for home and equally disappointed about the transition into a new world. “I cannot tell you if / my grandmother’s eyes are / almond-shaped / narrow / or deep-set…” (Lines 10-14). I pull these lines out of the poem, because, to me, they shape our perceptions of the family, and the narrator’s deep inhibitions towards initial, feeble, dreams, which turned into regrettable, empty promises.
What makes Naira’s poetry, and blog, stand out as unique is her dedication to her personal values and experiences (a vital tool that many writers choose to utilize only minutely when writing fictional accounts of history, love, etc., even though it is true that in all cases, personal experiences seep into our writing.) I strongly recommend her blog as a source of inspiration, insights into struggle and identity, as well as ethnicity and folklore. It is my impression that any culturally-inclined reader will enjoy Naira’s writing; but, to be frank, I would be surprised if someone thought otherwise of following this blog. Naira has talent.
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