Sri’s first collection of poems is a poignant, philosophical attempt to answer some of life’s most difficult questions.
Sri, an Indian physician, was diagnosed with an agonizing case of cancer. Here, he documents his experiences, angers and frustrations in verse. In these moving short poems, he admits that he doesn’t know why this fate has been bestowed on him, but he tries to find out why. Although the collection is about the journey through cancer, his poems also address more general problems and dilemmas faced by modern society, such as the poverty he witnesses on a daily basis and the suffering of other people. The book, although not blatantly a religious commentary, can almost be seen as a prayer book of sorts, or a series of meditations on dealing with an incredibly tumultuous situation. “The thing I feared most, loneliness / Now I realize is the most valuable gift given to me by God,” he writes. The short, digressive poems sometimes go off-topic and become a bit discordant, which adds to the compositions’ uniqueness and beauty. Sri relates the life-consuming malady of cancer to a number of other ailments and the general suffering of the human condition: “You created a beautiful world / Which is full of sadness,” he writes. “It does not make any sense.” Though some of the phrasing may be a bit rambling, sometimes bordering on incoherent, the general feeling of the collection is inspiring, and Sri’s heartfelt, genuine ruminations come from a place that is real and raw.
A unique, moving memoir in verse about the effects of illness on the human psyche.