The Accidental Poet
Indulge me to relate to you the unlikely story of how I “allowed” myself to become a poet. It's yet another tale from a fidgety variety-seeker. When I started writing, or should I say when my poems started bursting out of me like rain from a restless, distended cloud, I didn't know where these lines were taking me.
For some reason, and entirely uncharacteristically, perhaps because at some level, my analytical, sensible and coulda-shoulda ways had stopped feeding my soul, I gave in. I let the words appear on my screen and often on paper, at first for my husband's eyes only and slowly with a few trusted friends and finally on social media, which allows for such hubris. I thought that was it. Then came the virus, and because I found myself with time and space for "projects I couldn’t imagine indulging" I took all the poems and put them in a book: Arrivals and Departures: Journeys in Poems in 2020.
Found meaning & reviews
The result surprised me as did the unsolicited reviews. And just for that reason, that infinitesimally small contribution to creating meaning for someone I may not even know that well, that silly notion that my words were out in the world and that they were read and meant something to someone I couldn't otherwise reach, made me ecstatically happy. It still does.
You can read all the reviews here.
PS. None of these reviews were paid for, no algo machinations or BOT manipulations were involved. I’ve learned the hard way that such clarification is now necessary in our world of manufactured fame!
I would not have thought this was from a first-time author. Each poem, each verse in a poem, and each word in a verse, is beautifully written. I would call out three of my favorites: "
Endless March": A poignant story of a mother who loses her child, and the poem ends with: "I did lose his future, but I still have his past.",
"late": Who among us has not had a deep sorrow "I wish I had called her when I had a chance?", and
"Owed": About violence against women in deeply patriarchal societies, so beautifully said.
Another thing: I read the book once, and I loved it. But then when I read it again, I found subtleties that I had missed. And I know that the next reading will reveal more. Just get the book, and get it for everyone else you know and love.
What a treasure trove of poems that make the reader partake in the poet's journey of her 'Arrivals and Departures ' both within and outward. Journeys of passion, friendship, love, loss, motherhood, home and so much more. So personal and at the same time relatable as a reader. Created a visual parallel journey for me as I read the poems. To do justice to Reena's writing I have to re read these and savor each poem one at a time. A must read ! I have shared so many copies with friends too.
These excellent stories are recounted with poetry-- something that makes them lustrous and accessible. Reena Kapoor captures important moments of passage in a stunning work that delighted and intrigued me.
Since then I’ve also been invited to publish in two other poetry anthologies:
Starry Nights: Poetry of Diaspora in Silicon Valley, which is an endeavor of the heart, a labor of love and an act of startling generosity by two women - Jyoti Bachani and Pragalbha Doshi - and several other collaborators I’ve never met in person.