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.”‘
Brian Turner

‘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.’
Ranjit Hoskote

‘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.’
Claus Ankersen

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Saima Afreen







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Copper Coin Publishing





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About the Author

The author is an award-winning poet who also works as a journalist. Her poems have appeared in several Indian and international journals, including Indian Literature, HCE Review, Barely South Review, The Bellingham Review, The Stillwater Review, The McNeese Review, The Nassau Review, The Oklahoma Review, Staghill Literary Journal, The Notre Dame Review, Honest Ulsterman, and Existere, among others. She received the Writer of the Year Award, 2016, from Nassau Community College (the State University of New York). She has been part of several literary festivals and platforms such as Sahitya Akademi Poets’ Meet, Goa Arts and Literary Festival, TEDx VNR-VJIET, Prakriti Poetry Festival, Hyderabad Literary Festival, Betty June Silconas Poetry Festival, and Helsinki Poetry Jam. In the autumn of 2017, she was awarded the Villa Sarkia Writers’ Residency (Finland), where she completed the manuscript of Sin of Semantics. She’s also been awarded the Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship (2019) in Creative Writing at the University of Kent, United Kingdom.


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