April has gone by too quickly! I wasn't organized enough to be on the schedule for the National Poetry Month: Reach for the Horizon Blog Tour hosted by Serena from Savvy Verse & Wit, but I did want to post something worthwhile in honor of National Poetry Month.
Over the past few years, I've had the pleasure of reading four powerful books of contemporary poetry by award-winning writer Sweta Srivastava Vikram, Because All is Not Lost, Kaleidoscope: An Asian Journey of Colors, Beyond the Scent of Sorrow, No Ocean Here, as well as her striking novel, Perfectly Untraditional. I've reviewed each of these books on my blog, and I also posted an exclusive interview with Sweta in 2010. If you visit her website, you'll learn more about this prolific, multi-talented author, and you'll be amazed (but not surprised if you've read any of her work) at all of the honors and awards she's won! When I heard the recent news that her poetry books were traveling to Scotland to a university library as well as to the Glasgow Women's Library, I decided I'd found the perfect subject for my poetry post.
In the nick of time, before National Poetry Month draws to a close, I'm privileged to present one of her poems from the book No Ocean Here, a collection of poetry published in 2013, about women from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. This book, which has become an Amazon bestseller, gives women a voice against the violence and oppression they face far too frequently.
|Sweta Srivastava Vikram|
The poet prefaces her poem, "Superwoman", nominated for the Pushcart Prize, with the following statement:
Even in educated, modern families, men and women are not expected to do an equal share of housework despite both the husband and wife keeping jobs.
Her poems smell of onions,
even the raw air disapproves.
She is tired of being a superwoman--
slicing her dreams,
for dinner, running
from wall to cement,
picking up pieces
of wishes not her own,
looking beautiful during the day,
abandoned by prayers at night.
She turns on the water in the sink,
it drowns the sound of her tears.
Sighing, she pounds her fist into bread dough
until the blue veins on her fingers squirm
and she blames the onions.
I think this poem will resonate with women worldwide, with those who work outside of the home, as well as "only" in the home (man may work from sun to sun, but women's work is never done).
Thank you for graciously sharing your poem on my blog, Sweta. Your poetry possesses style, eloquence, and depth, and I look forward to reading your new work.
Comments are welcomed.
(PUBLISHING DISCLAIMER: “Superwoman” excerpted with permission from the book No Ocean Here published by Modern History Press. Copyright (c) 2013 Sweta Srivastava Vikram. All Rights Reserved.)