Book Review: Poetry is Possible

Title: Poetry is Possible
Language: English
Author: Vikram Kolmannskog
Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Services Pvt Ltd (2018)
ISBN-10: 9352010604
ISBN-13: 978-9352010608
Binding: Paperback
Price: Rs. 99 (Buy from Amazon)

Poetry is Possible is a collection of short, indulging poems, converging sexuality and spirituality in an eccentric yet appealing way. The writer, Vikram Kolmannskog, who identifies as Indian-Norwegian, queer and spiritual, captures the idea of discrimination faced based on one’s sexuality in poems like ‘A Queer Boy of Colour’.

Some of the poems are homoerotic and sexually explicit. ‘Fields of Silver and Gold’, is a dauntless recreation of Indian mythology where Vishnu takes the form of Mohini to distract the asuras. The poem, crafted upon Vishnu’s gender fluidity, depicts Lord Shiva being seduced by Mohini. The depiction of Gods belonging to the Indian mythology, is usually avoided due to the rigid belief system we are stuck with. The book draws the reader’s attention towards the societal norms and then defies them in a satirical way.

Some of his poems like ‘Death of a Dove’, portray the hardships we face while letting go of our loved ones. It carefully depicts the internal struggle of which the outsiders remain oblivious to. The sensual interweaving of different cultures and lyrical representations proves to be the attention grabber of the book.

However, few of the poems are just bland and fail to connect with the readers. For example, the poem ‘Hey!’, seems to be just a collection of words with no meaning whatsoever.

‘You just ran
Naked
Through my mind’

The above lines undermine the said poem, amidst some meaningful and thought-provoking ones. Another such poem, ‘Preparation’, comes off as nonsensical in my mind and a touch disappointing.

Poetry allows the readers to look at the world through the poet’s eyes while maintaining the sense of individuality and interpretation. Vikram’s poems succeed in dragging out the topic of homosexuality from under the carpet in a lyrical way. The book is unique in its genre itself. Some of the poems come across as disappointing and vapid but overall, it’s a short and good read for those who are looking for something new to try.