"What Survives is the Singing" by Shanta Acharya  - book review

Another collection of poems by this writer whose reputation as a poet is well established internationally. 

Shanta Acharya was born in Cuttack, India and got her doctorate in English Literature from Worcester College, Oxford. 

Since then, she has been an academic, an investment banker, and a freelance organizer of cultural events at various venues, especially at Lauderdale House, in London, where she founded and hosted 'Poetry in the House', a series of poetry readings from 1996-2015.


As ever, I am amazed at how she manages to concentrate so much acute feeling and observation into so few pages, and how she doesn't flinch from confronting the grim realities out there.
"Can You Hear Our Screams?" shines a spotlight on women's oppression world-wide.
"Continental Drift" is a subtle love sonnet.
"The Art of Losing" is a clever, light-hearted vilanelle on a political theme.
The poem "Not Everything begins Elsewhere" contains these lines that deserve to be quoted:

             "Greatness comes not from trying to please others,

              nor does it come trailing clouds of glory blinding us.

              It lives among us unnoticed, goes about its business

              like sap flowing with the iridescence of consciousness."

     This is fine stuff and there are touches of delicate humour and irony everywhere. 

***** Five-star rating

                                                                                 Julia Gasper