Poetry Book Review: Be Cause by Namratha Vardharajan

In her book of poems Be Cause: Someone had to Say it! Namratha, as the title suggests, marries causes to poems and tries out different poetic forms too. Read on for the complete poetry book review.

The first poem by Namratha in this 90 page book is a lovely ode to the act of poeticizing.

“When an idea murmurs in your ear –

fuel it with midnight thought streams,

and stir in pools of just-right words…”

She uses forms like acrostic to structure her poems. The theme of a cause is also good. I like the pun in the title. The Tree Sisters is an interesting cause I didn’t know about it. Since I love trees, I plan to sign up for that.

I like the way Namratha talks about how she composes a poem, a behind the scenes look. You’ll learn a lot about poetic forms in this book. ‘Just a Child’ on child marriage, has this hard hitting line “A vermillion oval tattoo stamped on my forehead.”

The Everlasting is also good, with plastic speaking back to us. Very topical right now, with the ban on plastic in Maharashtra.

“Until they

were all full on the

memories

she fed them”

Pizza Grannies is another interesting cause. The foot painting is outstanding in its complexity and the poem matches it.

“That glass ceiling is false

Don that helmet, wrench open this topmost circle.”

Inspiring lines.

The poem around Goonj also brings disparity home starkly. I didn’t know Goonj gives cloth for work. Good idea for enhancing self worth of the person receiving clothes- it’s pay then, not charity.

Period red transforms sailor blue, cheekily in another poem.

There’s also a poem on women drivers.

“My house my body” is powerful.

The poems with metaphor are stronger.

Art depends on conflict and these poems reflect that. Download Namratha’s book of poems here for free. Here’s a poem I wrote for NaPoWriMo 2018.

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