Book review

Ink from Night Skies


No poem will escape the readers curious eyes; and as one flips through the poems, one after another, one is transported into melancholy occasionally, pedantic most other times.

What does one expect from a poet in her early-twenties? A mishmash of thoughts, millennial phrases, and paltry text? Not in this case for sure.

Mahima Sethis poems are evocative, insightful and her thoughts are broad spectrum.

Ink from Night Skies is a pleasant bunch of poems one has come across from a young poet.

Mahima is Bhubaneswar- born and has received her B. Tech degree from IIT, Mumbai only recently.

She has been fascinated by poetry since childhood and has been into writing from an early age.

Poetry comes rather easily to Mahima. This is her maiden poetry collection.

‘Ink from Night Skies, as the blurb says, is a poetry book about expressing feelings, it depicts our connection to people, objects and non-material aspects belonging to the universe.

Each of the poems in this collection is a statement, a proclamation.

Passionately written and with a lot of vigor going into each verse, the poems are magical, perceptive, and rewarding.


No poem will escape the readers curious eyes; and as one flips through the poems, one after another, one is transported into melancholy occasionally, pedantic most other times.

With little over  a hundred poems – varying in scale , decently structured and inventively arranged – Ink from Skies has a purpose, an end-point.

Read the poetical introduction by Mahima: I hope you feel my rage and my peace, as you peruse through these pages of my being.

I hope you feel my wilderness in space uniting words, in each comma and in each full-stop.

I hope you feel , as you flip through these pages, my indebtedness as you hold this book and read.

The first poem in this collection is unmistakably fresh and momentous: I use words, to fill blank pages, of solitude (Blank Pages). Or take this one: I was given a name by a saint, before I was born.

I still remember playing with him and his white beard, and how he used to lift me up with pure love when I was a child.

I still remember how I had mourned when he departed this realm (Gods Glory).

Mahimas oeuvre is genuinely intensifying. Mark this one: Fair Mermaid, queen of the deepest oceans, why do you plod so low, and tread shallow waters? Once gliding swiftly, with sharks in the deep blue sea, why dry your rainbow scales, and wait in shallow waters? (Demersal Mermaid).

If sometimes she gets the inspiration to write a portion of poetry from life experience, she muses rather philosophically:

Memories fade habits dont (Ocean Falls).Similarly, she writes elsewhere: Trust the universe, as you burn, as you cleanse (So You Burn).

Some poems in this collection are nostalgic : The gates of Heaven cannot hold me in. Do not mourn me When I am gone.

I shall march out, following the echoes of conch shells bellowing.

(Swargadwar) Some of the other poems are riveting like My Old Address, A Cautionary Haiku, Clock Waves and Winds, Inferno Within, Words of Hate, ‘Fireworks, Indestructible, Forlorn, Asphyxiating, Vicissitude, Until the End and Paper or I.
Intimacy and sarcasm preponderantly present in Mahimas poems.

Take this one: Memories are fragile beings like soft blurred smears caged inside our hearts. Some willfully forgotten, some inexpugnable, played on loop, on repeat (Memories).

What, then, Mahimas maiden poetry compilation wants to depict? This is a journey of multitudessome fulfilling, some rudimentary, some trenchant about the goals of life and some following the rhythm of a rhythm-less wind.

As Prof PA Danaher of the University of Southern Queensland writes in the foreword: The poetic style is highly varied, and it is characterized by being immediately accessible, often through its strong physicality, yet with an underlying capacity to cause the reader to pause and reflect on what is being conveyed.

Ruskin Bond too has an appreciative letter on Mahimas poetry.

The poems in this collection are vivid images of the natural world, encompassing rain storms, thunder waterfalls and wildflowers and many other motifs.

The anthologys strong point is the cohesiveness and sublimity.

‘Ink from Night Skies (cover design by Gajendra Prasad Sahu) is a speckled bag of dominant imagery and time-honored themes.

Each of the poems is delicately told and has a touch of forbearance.

This collection takes the reader to his own inward soul.

Poems of Mahima Sethi traverse through dreamy terrains of the mind.

The poems are simple verses, substantive and metaphorical. It is like a cool breeze of a wintery morning.

A fascinating read.

Ink from Night Skies
Mahima Sethi
Har-Anand Publications
New Delhi -110020
Rs 695

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