Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Book Review: Kaleidoscope by Rachna Gupta

There are poems, and there is poetry. Rachna Gupta’s little book Kaleidoscope seemed to be about poems of love rather than love poetry. While the sentiments of longing, togetherness, loneliness, separation, and every other facet of love come out very strongly, the lack of poignant imagery, repetition, and evocation of clichéd scenes mar the enjoyment of the book as a whole. Individual poems, however, could pass for understanding and empathising, especially from those who have known and felt love.


Excessive use of exclamatory marks: This is one of my pet peeves with poetry-writing in general. Use of exclamations suggest to me that the writer is too excited to express the emotion without additional help from the punctuatory tool. A good writer, in my opinion, uses words and imagery to express those emotions. Every poem in Kaleidoscope is riddled with exclamations.

Sample (from Legitimizing Love):
It was in the valley they stood,
He wore black jeans and the same colored t-shirt,
His favorite colors!
She a multi-colored silk sari,
All colors fascinated her!

I see no reason for use of exclamations here.

Nothing extraordinary in expression or imagery: None of the poems use strong imagery to build the scenes of love. Gupta picks from mundane, mushy scenes and renders them through wordy descriptions. She builds scenes that can be empathised with, but I like poets being pithy and imaginative in their expression.


Celebrating cute love: To do justice to the collection, I must say that this is a set of cute little love poems. They are steeped in the rosiness of love, the anxiety of separation, the delight at reunion, and other journeys on the path of love.

Sample (Promises):
I belong to you,
The love we have,
The crazy feelings we share,
Is like a blanket which wraps itself around me,
Keeping me warm!

I will hold you close forever,
When you are not there,
I will think of the good times we spent and draw strength from it!

The memories we made are tattooed all over my body,
They will remain with me,
Just like our love!

No rhymes: Mercifully, nothing rhymes in this collection. To me, nothing kills poetry like forced rhyming schemes.

I received the book as part of the Tornado Giveaway 2 by The Book Club. 
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