Having recently interviewed Sweta Srivastava Vikram after reading Because All is Not Lost, I was thrilled by the opportunity to review her new book of poems, Kaleidoscope: An Asian Journey of Colors. In the introduction of Kaleidoscope, the author says that her book, part of the World Voices Series, "delves into the implication and philosophy of colors from a Hindu woman's point of view", and that "the color she adorns herself with almost depicts the story of her life". The colors of an Indian woman's wardrobe are certainly significant; they represent her emotional state and thoughts. For example, the color red means marriage, green indicates conception, and white signifies widowhood. In the poem "Reflecting on Iridescence in Mama's Wardrobe", the author uses the colors of a sari, from pink to black, to depict the various stages of life from youth until death. The golden warmth of the third stanza is palpable:
"I hid under mama's yellow sari,While I am not Hindu, I'm particular when it comes to the color of my clothing, too. During the hot months of summer I tend to wear white, but since it was mild this year I wore blouses in the colors that I find most appealing, bright blues such as cobalt, turquoise, and purples; I rarely wear neutral colored tops because they feel too drab. I'm drawn to certain colors in clothing, and recognize the power of color to influence my mood and outlook. This chapbook goes beyond wardrobe colors, though, and mentions color in a myriad of other ways, directly and indirectly, citing her "soft lungs" and the "skies of London". Each verse is beautifully crafted, expressed in a variety of poetic and verbal forms. I dove into this book of poems quickly and eagerly, then slowed down to savor the words and the images, marveling over Sweta Srivastava Vikram's unique mix of grace, humor, and eloquence, which forms a medley of beauty and color.
warm, as the sunrays at dawn,
so I could lose myself to words,
write an ode to daffodils,
and pretend I was Wordsworth."
Exciting news! The publisher is generously offering two books as a giveaway. This book giveaway is open internationally!
- To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
- For an extra chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower, or that you subscribe in Google Reader.
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- For another bonus chance, name your favorite color or colors, or leave a comment about the importance of color in your own life.
Special thanks to Victor from Modern History Press for sending me Kaleidoscope.