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Fireflies in the Rubble | a review by Neha R. Krishna

Fireflies in the Rubble: ARVINDER KAUR

Reviewing Editor: Neha R. Krishna

Publisher's name: Red River No of pages: 112 pages P-ISBN: CODE --- ISBN-10 9392494130 ISBN-13 978-9392494130 Price: INR 299 USD 9.99 Available on Amazon

Fireflies in the Rubble by Arvinder Kaur

Arvinder is very sensitive with her words. Each poem is a branch of memory rooted in her experiences. I am glad to read and review this beautiful book called, 'fireflies in the rubble'. The title soothes me with visuals of fireflies rising from the debris of war-torn cities. In some ways, I’d like to believe we all are cities. A part of us is war-torn. A part of us flourishes. The way Arvinder portrays images in words is deep and penetrating. Both her choice of words and what is left unsaid magnify the emotional quality in her poems. She has the skill to harness silence too. She allows her reader to discover the subtle shifts that exist in her work and fill them in with their own meanings. Walking through the pages of this stunning book, the reader will travel the continents of longing, of childhood memories, will peek through the rooms of silence, of dusty tables, of giggles, will visit an old shrine of the mother-daughter bond and feel the silence of relationships. Her deliberate technique of narrating her experiences in words is heartwarming. three small dots... he expects me to understand his silence In this poem, she easily leads her readers to a room where they can perceive profound silence. Its expanse is as unpredictable and intricate as it can be. I wonder if we can truly understand its depth. last love letter the quiet fall of snow all night Arvinder empowers the reader with an opportunity to feel “the quiet”. Just listen to it here. You might want to extend your hand to catch the snow, and perhaps unknowingly a piece of silence will land on your open palm too. It's all about the unknown, “as if the unknown is all mine” as she proclaims in another poem. I could also see silence as an unknown factor that we all own within us and still crave. watching the beach sunset together a bit of me a bit of you fades How slowly and unknowingly we lose ourselves, just like the colours that blend on the canvas of the sky. In this tanka, Arvinder merges a bit of herself beautifully with the reader and vice versa. chopsticks... keeping the tastiest morsel till the end Ohh! I have done this so many times and still do, munching the sides of the bread first and then relishing the soft centers. This poem reminds us of the silly habits we have. going back into my shell... this world of humans I found this poem so relatable. How every time we hide into a shell away from the world! It is my very favorite thing to do! There is so much to connect and relate to in Arvinder‘s beautiful collection. the house where we grew up our parents died in the courtyard I can still see mama claim her patch in the sun This cherita haunts me. It shows the house witnessing births and deaths. It portrays walls that have absorbed the giggles and cries. Relationships that have stayed forever. Many poems in this book are reflections of the beautiful bonds Arvinder shares with people, especially with her mother. It’s almost as if her longing dwells in between her breaths. watching till it becomes a dot on the horizon

the train I did not catch It's all about the choices we make, isn’t it? Of whether to catch the train or to simply watch it disappear in the distance. This image becomes open to several interpretations: Did the poet miss her train? Was she waiting for someone who didn't turn up? Or is it just a random train she is staring at? unable to bear the weight of rain... cherry petals I found myself coming back to this particular poem many times. I simply marvel at its beauty! When I read the first line, “unable to bear”, I wondered what it could be: a truth, a lie, the pain, or someone's behaviour? About the second line, “the weight of rain”, again I wondered, is it the ego or the weight of the past that is unbearable? “Cherry petals” in the third line suggests a living or visiting of cheerful youth. And when you read it once more, it sort of sums up the nature aesthetic of when rain washes the flowers on trees. Arvinder artfully captures this cadence of nature. Her poetry is not just on the surface - it pierces deep. as if it is still the same childhood moon Nothing changes even after years. The moon has always fascinated me too. We all have grown up with some moon lullaby or story. And then we have narrated it to children in our lives. Some things in life remain constant.

When Arvinder says in one poem, “How deep the layers of this longing”, what does she really mean? It makes you linger on the words and think about your own inner experiences.

Effortlessly graceful are all the poems. I would say with complete faith that these poems, page by page, will grow on you…and find a home in you.


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