Review of Two Full Moons by Vinita Agrawal

Reviewer: Nalini Priyadarshni
Book: Two Full Moons
Author: Vinita Agrawal
Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Bombaykala
ISBN: 978-8193947517
Pages: 106
Price: ₹ 350.00


Published by Bombaykala Books, Two Full Moons is the latest offering to poetry aficiados by award winning poet Vinita Agrawal. Author’s note tips this collection as “quotidian journey of life” wherein she seeks to explore and reclaim her identity through diamond facets of memory, history and current events braided with experiences both real and imagined.

Vinita Agrawal
Divided neatly into 9 sectioned, the book probes diverse concerns like birth, death, existence, family, soul and heart along with the world order and how it affects the mental health, bringing forth new perspectives on existential angst. These, she weaves into intimate and personal childhood memories until the inner tranquillity appears to be the last defence against the rampant anguish and anger in the outer world. In the words of Jayanta Mahapatra, the award-winning poet- “Vinita Agrawal’s poems seem to reach for something that lies just beyond their grasp.”

The title poem “Two Full Moons” explores the quotidian journey of moon between two full moons. Vinita begins, “I don’t trust sky/the accordion play of two full moons/the fragile twigs of fate/soaking quotidian journeys/ in the brine of time. Staggering lines, always a negotiation, a query, reaching towards reconciliation and acceptance “of a smoky destiny/from one full moon to the next”.

Nalini Priyadarshni
In the opening poem “Behind the Moon” she starts by questioning the pain and suffering that journey of life brings. What follows is exactly that draws me to Vinita’s work – a sense of poignancy and peace that permeates even the deepest wounds.  “bliss would be to drown in the ‘sea of poppies’ hidden behind you.” The true expression of strength comes in the last stanza which endears Vinita to me “I’m tired of standing and waiting/ let me share with you the echoes of my solitary existence”.

Often time meditative and searching, other times a salvo of images deliberately unleashed, poems in this collection have a breathless quality about them. “My mother is a peninsular presence/The dry ground in life’s squall’s/The raft in the deluge” (Total Facts Known About Vinita Pg. 45). I found myself drawn to the haunting poesy which often demands the readers to explore and mine a new dimension. Poems throughout the book are imagery driven that tumble across the pages as naturally and effortlessly as a spool of thread. Laced with confidence, her lines slide confidently and effortlessly bringing together poems like the teeth of a zipper. “Prison, that wet clingy thing/Around my throat, yielding to death.” (The Irony of Pacific Ocean Pg. 69)

The most striking thing about this book, other than the breath-taking imagery spanning across the entire book, is the poet’s willingness to take up painful and touchy topics right along with comforting collages. She conjures emotional landscapes suffused with subtle sensuality, fierce compassion and undulating feminism.  “For once what lies behind us/no longer raises its head,/nothing forgotten or remembered;/just laid to rest like another beautiful child/in the cemetery of injustices.”

Vinita let the poems follow their own course. No awkward, forced rhyming or clichéd ideas and the fact that this book a poetic account of life at a deeper level is the added bonus. Contemplative and intimate, these poems will nudge the readers to slow down and read again. I know, ‘cause I went back and read them several times.

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