Wet Silence – Book Review
If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off,
I know that is poetry.
― Emily Dickinson
When you think about the type of book that has the power to raise social awareness about an entire group of women who are systemically discarded, degraded, and discriminated against after suffering devastating loss, a volume of poetry probably isn’t what comes to mind – but that’s exactly what Sweta Srivastava Vikram has created with her brilliant work, Wet Silence – Poems About Hindu Widows.
Wet Silence is a haunting collection of poems that vividly chronicles the plight of Hindu widows in India.
According to Sweta, the poems are inspired by real life events that have occurred among educated, well-to-do urban families in India. They reflect the experiences of countless widows who have suffered from the detrimental effects of patriarchal rule in one of the largest democratic countries in the world.
The poems in Wet Silence are divided into three sections.
- I can hear a white cotton sari weaving at the shop
- I didn’t promise to sleep in your shadow
- Silence became my lover, that’s why
As you progress through each section, the emotional content of the poems escalate in intensity.
Losing a spouse under any circumstances is traumatic and life-altering, but the effect is amplified in a culture where widows are forbidden to remarry – are blamed for their husband’s deaths – are ostracized and dehumanized – and worse.
Wet Silence gives voice to widows who live in a society that has taken their voices away.
Sweta’s poetry leaves us with many memorable moments, but my favorite poem in the book is her final one – Willpower – because it reflects the strength and resiliency of these women.
I am a woman
who can be left in a desert,
and I’ll come back smelling of jasmine.
In the Forward to Wet Silence, author Shaila Abdulla writes:
Only a few times in life will you read poetry that transports you to another world and shakes your very being.
Readers, you have been forewarned: When you pick up this book, be prepared to plunge to unfathomable depths and soar to impossible heights.
Wet Silence by Sweta Vilkram will do that to you.
Reading Wet Silence is an experience you will never forget. I highly recommend this book to you.
I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.
NOTE: “Willpower” a poem, originally appeared in Sweta Srivastava Vikram’s poetry book: Wet Silence (Modern History Press: July 1, 2015. ISBN-13: 978-1615992560).
Queens Literary Festival Poetry Reading
About Sweta Vikram
Sweta Srivastava Vikram, featured by Asian Fusion as “One of the most influential Asians of our time,” is an award-winning writer, three times Pushcart Prize nominee, Amazon bestselling author of nine books, novelist, poet, essayist, and columnist who currently lives in New York City with her husband.
Her work has appeared in several anthologies, literary journals, and online publications across nine countries in three continents.
A graduate of Columbia University, Sweta reads her work, teaches creative writing workshops, and gives talks at universities and schools across the globe.
For More Information
- Visit Sweta’s Website.
- Connect with Sweta on Facebook and Twitter.
- Visit the Wet Silence Blog Tour Page.
- Read an An Interview With Sweta Srivastava.
- Learn more about the Ongoing Tragedy Of Inda’s Widows.
- Wet Silence is available on Amazon.
For More Great Books
- Visit Create With Joy – Book Reviews.
- Follow Create With Joy on GoodReads.
- Join us at The Book Nook At Create With Joy – a community for book lovers!
Stay In Touch!
Follow Create With Joy On:
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. However, the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Copyright © 2015 by Create With Joy. All Rights Reserved.
If you see this content posted elsewhere, please contact the site owner.
Thank you for helping to prevent content theft!