Book Reviews

Reshma Ramesh's Half Moon

Half Moon by Dr. Reshma Ramesh
ISBN 978-93-5045-175-5
Publisher: Writers Workshop Redbird, Kolkata

Reshma’s description of mountains and conversation with mountains are impressive. She observes silence and the loud noise of the mountains.

The mountains seem to have swallowed
The cry of every dawn, a soldier’s bones
And the distance between a falling leaf and ground.
No sooner they get quiet like a cemetery
Than they down their solitude in my tiny palms.


Her expression of love in these lines is so touching. Especially, in these lines:

Love in the time of cholera
Is destined to die a painful death
Laid in coffins like poems,
To be buried in books as graves
And yet love, just this once
Like the putrid remnants
Wrap me in your shadows
Let me suckle on your breast.


Do stories have walls, windows, a courtyard etc? You can feel those from these beautiful lines:

I like stories that have thick walls, a courtyard,
A priest, potholes, a manganiyar singing
While his tired wife looks on.
You break me up into descending rain,
You listen to me as you listen to nothing….


Ah! What an expression of her mind in these lines! The wounded soul expresses despair and heartfelt feelings so precisely.

You can feel the value of absence in these lines so well. The absence of a person brings a lot of changes in our minds that influence us in many ways.

Your absence now grows like a cactus, soft, luring
Into my soul, it sometimes hums mandolin-like.


The Language of Love is so powerful and Reshma is an extraordinary poet to express it in these lines:

The language of love is after all
The silence
That meanders within


The dialogues that love broke the silence with

Like the roses that grew on mountains.

She speaks her mind out so clearly and honestly through these beautiful lines:

How is it supposed to rain when you dragged
A desert into my blanket?
Let me continue to close my eyes and sleep
While my words stalk the dusky lanes
That have at least a few of your footprints
And all I ask for is just a word with your silence.


A few lines from her poem, ‘Truth’

If one could read one’s eyes
All they can see are scars.
Scars of sunsets, long highways,
Tall coconut trees and empty backyards.

Some more lovely lines that talk about her style of writing and perception….

Because a few nights are longer
With no dawn in sight,
With no hope of light
All I can do is watch
You kiss me slowly
Into nothingness.

~*~

I don’t know, I am ignorant,
I cannot feel, I cannot ever breathe
But it seems to me, the summer swept
A million violets in the wind, poems….

Do you think I have forgotten?
How your slow kisses
Unfurl the tender mornings

~*~

November Love

I sometimes like to think that I love you
Especially in November, ‘cause it’s your favourite book
And month too, your eyes unwind like the snow
Melting on the window, you do not like to keep warm,
You prefer the cold sweep up your feet into those fingers,
I vehemently disagree; you need fire, cigar, coffee
And a little bit of love
November Love.


What to say? I fell in love with her book, style of writing, expression of feelings, and wordplay. Overall, it’s a collection of beautifully woven poems.

Reshma Ramesh, who is the recipient of Sabitribai Phule National Women Achiever award, and a well-known poet of India penned many beautiful poems that are filled with love, concern, kindness, unity, human qualities, and romance, etc. She’s a dentist by profession and a poet by passion. I met her in the litfest, at Damanjodi, Odisha. She’s an affectionate and amicable person. Here is my review of her collection of poems, titled ‘Half Moon’. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all her poems and learned a lot of things from them.

03-Sep-2022

More by :  Setaluri Padmavathi

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