Ponder Poetry Reviews: Breadcrumbs of contemporary poetry
I love the digital world and social media for bringing me together with a great community of artists, poets and literatteurs.
It all started when I broke down and cried about a poem called ‘Touch’ written by Shwetahitesh. The poem was about how trust what a woman places on a man turns into travesty — this was based on a real event. It was followed by another poem by E.J Rose titled the ‘Alcoholic’.
From thereon the journey of my poetry reviews started. The culmination of these efforts was Ponder 2020, as I compiled and published Ponder 2020. Then it was followed by Ponder 2021, the next year. The books came out despite me, being down with COVID twice.
The ‘Ponder Series’ of Poetry Collections are breadcrumbs of contemporary poetry; They bring together poets on common topics from across the globe. I have had the privilege on reading and reviewing, in effect savoring the poetry from poets of all the five continents — Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and North America. I have made friends across oceans and have understood current affairs and culture through these poems.
I have had my share of snubs, but I consider them as part of my improvement and learning in the course of reviewing poetry. The learning involves handling sensibilities of poets about their work and culture given their understandable caution in working with a stranger and sharing their backstories, and also social media etiquettes. But those are the challenges at my job as a reviewer. Once I cross the ‘moat of unfamiliarity’, I have made friends with the poets who I respect and who in turn, love my work.
This year, I have experimented with couple of things — reviewing poetry as tribute to their composers — the poets, and a collaborative review with Priya Patel.
A third experiment I am planning is to bring a bit of classic or period poetry review into the mix. All these experiments are part of my evolution as a poetry reviewer, and I am sure that as readers you would love the variations rather than a set template.
I look forward to your love and support as I stay the course, experiment and evolve this little contribution of mine which brings together the breadcrumbs of contemporary poetry.
~Ashok Subramanian, 25–10–2022, Chennai, India.
You can avail Ponder Series on Amazon.
Ponder 2020: mybook.to/ponder2020
Ponder 2021 : mybook.to/ponder2021