Udaiyaathathu is a triumph of form and theme. In structure, it is named after the same Southeast Asia poetic form whereby the first word of every line must be the last word of the next line, and so on so that the poem is unending from last to first lines. In theme, it is a poem about victim blaming and ultimately strength, its portrayal unflinching from differing point of views. In short, this is one of the most powerful poems that we have published.
‘Small’ is a poem born out of solitude and beauty in nature. Rosie Sandler’s natural imagery is striking, its minute details following the writer’s own shrinking into a world that becomes smaller and smaller as the rhythm simultaneously becomes slower. Take a breath and read this one aloud.
Durre Shahwar’s strength lies in her strong form, the repetition of ‘I wanted to tell you’ throughout the poem a sorrowful rhythm, beating out the struggle that one feels at every turn of a life with mental illness. There is beauty in the darkness here, a mask that hides the truth.