Sin of Semantics
Author: Saima Afreen
9789384109387 | PB | pp. 122 | 2019 | Copper Coin Publishing
Sin of Semantics by Saima Afreen is a beautiful collection of poetry which raises questions held within the heart. It blooms with insights into emotions.
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‘With Saima Afreen’s debut collection of poems, Sin of Semantics, we are given “letters that arrive / from the heart of the forest / delivering the cosmos and its clauses.” While Afreen has worked as a journalist over the years, these poems make it clear that she’s been a poet all along. How else are we to measure a pen that discovers language like this: “the fishermen keep harvesting sunsets, sunrises / with moon-dipped fingers’ in a world with “a charcoal sky / underneath which statues and swords/sleep alike’? Sin of Semantics studies the metaphorical and the mythological, as well as offering insights into the cultural and political structures that limit the feminine within all of our lives. Afreen fuses the lyric with a necessary critique and, dear Reader, in her poems “there are epics waiting to be released.”‘
‘She has everything going for her and her poetry–energy, flair, chutzpah. An entire culture raises its head in her poems. My father would have said “afreen”!’
Keki N. Daruwalla
‘The poems collected to form Saima Afreen’s Sin of Semantics are richly sensuous, evocative of scents, smells, textures, the visual and auditory delights of various seasons, and the particularities of place. Afreen’s poems are vivid with songs, the names of flowers, glimpses of streetscapes drawn from Kashmir, from Gangetic India, from Scandinavia. At the core of her poetry lies a strong, productive tension between two impulses: one, the need to immerse oneself in the immediacies of the world as experienced, and the other, the need to bear witness to these immediacies through speech and script. Can experience ever be articulated in its plenitude? Is language the original sin that condemns the human voice to an always-partial, always-incomplete communication? What is lost in this continuing act of translation from experience to language, and what is gained? Saima Afreen’s pensive, scintillating, often intricately detailed poems are woven like tapestries around these central questions.’
‘This book is a magical lamp. A journey through endless vistas of the human heart captured and reincarnated in poetic form. Mirroring creation. Blooming with insights from acute observation of the minute detail of everyday situations, emotions, in a world of colours, of brilliant life and multifaceted Black Death. From the golden hue of Caribbean trumpet flowers and the flux of seasons in the bones, Sin of Semantics takes off as a rocket of a poetry collection. In the cacophony of the poetry jungle, Saima Afreen’s voice stands clear and loud.’
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Copper Coin Publishing
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