A literary work is a powerful medium of expression when it expresses a variety of emotions by packing it in one whole where it shows the swinging moods of an artistic mind and attempts to give words to the chaos that operates internally in the mind and heart of a writer. At the same time, these works also show the complexities that operate in the lives of many and how they dictate their thoughts and expressions. An example of such a literary work is Irtika Kazi’s poetry collection, “Stormbound.” Herein, the readers would find a plethora of feelings that the poet captures in her pen and gives words to the unspoken emotions otherwise through her book.
True to its title, the cover of “Stormbound” shows an image that captures the essence of the word and, at the same time, conveys the whirlwind in which the author plans to enchant the readers. Inheriting the literary genes, Kazi writes in a fluid and effortless form where she does not put any painstaking effort as her rich vocabulary comes in handy every time she plans to play with words. The readers can observe her style’s smoothness, which only makes them understand her poetic persona more closely and see the fluent style in which she writes her poetry. These are just the tip of the iceberg kind of factors that describe her style in poetry writing. The readers can anticipate and guess the potential the poet would have.
Kazi in “Stormbound” writes poetry on random subjects that connect one emotion to another. Simultaneously, it also connects the readers to their abilities to observe and appreciate how the author gives words to ideas that would otherwise find difficulty in expression. Some of her poems which are an incarnation of the unexpressed, include “On Survival,” “Memorial,” “Ramadan,” “The Koyna starts with my mother’s stride,” and many others. The collection of more than 30 poems shows the different times and junctures when the poet may have had thoughts to write on a variety of subjects and how she gives words to them. They also suggest objectivity in her manner of writing and how she tries to remain detached from the spectacle that she creates for the readers, but even though she tries, the personal element does come in as the poems are more or less based on her personal experiences.
Perhaps, one of the poems which most readers would undoubtedly enjoy and possibly connect instantly includes “Letters from Nana.” This poem has her observations from the time when Kazi was a young girl to the time when she grows to see her grandfather age and also how times change things in the life of a person, and at the end, all a person is left with are memories and the things that would remind a person of their loved ones. This poem is bound to make the readers feel nostalgia and reminisce their younger days and perhaps make the readers want to reconnect with their grandparents if they continue to live.
Poems like “Icarus and the Ugarit Eclipse” show the well-read and in-depth knowledge that the poet has of the literary classics. This reflects in the subjects she chooses to write on and blends in with the postmodern poetry writing style of objectivity and terseness with which she writes. The objectivity of her writing is also highlighted in the manner in which she names her poems. Some of these names include “War,” “Roma,” “Khidr,” “Memorial,” “Ramadan,” “Lost,” “Sunrise,” “Twenty-six,” and many others. These factors ensure “Stormbound” is counted in the canon and does not go unread by future students of literature.
This work would appeal instantly to the mature readers who are grown up and have seen enough winters of their lives to see life from an objective point of view and as a fragment of experience. Also, younger readers would find many different ideas being shared, opening their minds to new perspectives and finding chances to update and refresh their vocabulary here and there. Therefore, recommending Kazi’s poetry collection to readers of all ages would only mean doing justice to the author’s work.
Reviewed By: Akhila Saroha, The Literature Times