A debut collection of poetry and prose that blends a straightforward memoir with a motivational treatise.
Mathur covers a range of topics, from her views on global politics to her experiences in local restaurants, returning repeatedly to the theme of positive thinking. Through a spiritual, implicitly Hindu lens, the author—a practitioner of reiki and energy healing—asserts her conviction that “you can always survive and come back to life’s central emotion: love.” She explores this notion mostly by recounting episodes from her own life as poems, with short prose explanations accompanying each. Motivational platitudes, such as “Once we are comfortable within ourselves, we can be happy with other people,” appear often throughout the text. Frequently, however, the prose sections hinder the poetry, as the explanations sometimes make the verses seem less original than they might have seemed on their own. The poetry itself tends toward the trite, often prioritizing conventional rhyme schemes over creative expression; for example, one entry commemorating the 2010 World Cup begins: “I am full of happiness; / I am full of cheer. / It makes me very happy / The World Cup is here.” Throughout, there’s an odd tension between the author’s focus on specific people and events in her own life and her stated goal of promoting love and positivity; for example, there may be a connection between the author’s experiences in an exercise class and the overall value of community, but including the names of her classmates probably isn’t necessary. Still, Mathur’s writing is consistently heartfelt and sometimes inspiring, and many poems are likely to resonate with fellow spiritual seekers, as when she writes, “Yes, there is always time. Listen—and stay quiet. / It is the voice of the divine.” Although such ideas may not be particularly original, they may be useful for readers looking to live mindfully.
An undeniably positive collection hampered by overexplanation.