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Hibiscus: poems that heal and empower

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As the pandemic shutdown looms over us, we are reminded of those things we took for granted: for instance, hibiscus flowers, the sea, the moon, or an elderly couple at home who are still in love. Hibiscus: poems that heal and empower seeks to convey the resonating touch of the flower itself. According to Ayurveda, the flower has many medicinal uses that include but are not limited to lowering blood pressure and preventing stroke. The anthology derives its healing power from reaching across continents. It was conceived in India by acclaimed poet, editor, and translator Kiriti Sengupta.

Hibiscus houses 104 poets—luminaries like Keki N. Daruwalla, Mamang Dai, Sudeep Sen, Bina Sarkar Ellias, Sanjeev Sethi, Sanjukta Dasgupta, Wang Ping, Tim Kahl, John Grey, Michael R. Burch, Claudine Nash, Gerard Sarnat, among others.

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As the pandemic shutdown looms over us, we are reminded of those things we took for granted: for instance, hibiscus flowers, the sea, the moon, or an elderly couple at home who are still in love. Hibiscus: poems that heal and empower seeks to convey the resonating touch of the flower itself. According to Ayurveda, the flower has many medicinal uses that include but are not limited to lowering blood pressure and preventing stroke. The anthology derives its healing power from reaching across continents. It was conceived in India by acclaimed poet, editor, and translator Kiriti Sengupta.

Hibiscus houses 104 poets—luminaries like Keki N. Daruwalla, Mamang Dai, Sudeep Sen, Bina Sarkar Ellias, Sanjeev Sethi, Sanjukta Dasgupta, Wang Ping, Tim Kahl, John Grey, Michael R. Burch, Claudine Nash, Gerard Sarnat, among others.

Chief editor Kiriti Sengupta writes of the concept behind the book: “As a clinician, I can tell you, healing is not all about back to normalcy, or in other words, restoration of the state of being. Healing imparts strength. It renders authority.” A distinct relationship exists between healing and empowerment that this anthology intends to convey. In the introduction written conjointly between the editors: Kiriti Sengupta, Anu Majumdar, and Dustin Pickering, the roles the collection declares for itself are made apparent. Majumdar writes, “Poetry is the first language of humanity,” and “how we heal all this,” the different levels of crisis, “is the justice that will empower the world.” Sengupta writes, “In times of crisis, one may approach the issue(s) in more than one way: we can demand remedial measures, or we can opt for a therapeutic course that will alleviate our suffering. We have every right to exercise both the means, however. Hibiscus: poems that heal and empower follows the second way of addressing hardship.” Pickering himself writes of the socio-economical devastation wreaked by the virus and implies that people return to their humanity. In taking a bold stance of caution, Pickering also shows us an alternative meaning to social distancing: minding one’s own business is paramount, and we should not infringe on others.

However, the anthology is rife with questions about our humanity, how we treat one another, the forgotten beauty of life, and the wonders we are surrounded by and should be concerned with preserving. It is recorded that the lockdown has helped restore the environment. Hibiscus: poems that heal and empower in its ability to navigate steep terrain—the cultural and political forces we wish to command—while transcending our pettiness to show that empowerment is possible without pretense. The anthology elicits a promising journey during this time when poetry is having a bright moment.

Additional information

Weight 0.35 kg
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.6 in
Chief Editor

Kiriti Sengupta

Associate Editors

Anu Majumdar, Dustin Pickering

Binding

Edition

ISBN

Language

Page Count

Publisher

Hawakal Publishers

Release Date

20 June, 2020

Press Reviews

“A young audacious Pushkin found in the plague a way to defy death, a way to steal life faced with an unprecedented crisis. Hibiscus: Poems that heal and empower, an anthology of poems, edited by Kiriti Sengupta, along with Anu Majumdar and Dustin Pickering, is no less audacious in its claim that poetry has a role to play in moments of collective crisis, a pandemic. Poetry ought to not only heal but empower us in uncertain times, enable an inward journey of self-consciousness, and make us rethink our way of life. As Sengupta writes: “Our Hibiscus will bloom amid corona infestation, self-isolation, unemployment, famine, and suffering. This anthology will comfort and rejuvenate the readers to step into a world that might not allow reckless lifestyles we were used to. Self-restraint comes with a price” (6),”— Cafe Dissensus

3 reviews for Hibiscus: poems that heal and empower

  1. Mandakini Bhattacherya

    The poems are excellent, the editing done with a lot of care. The paper quality could have been better.

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  2. Sutanuka Ghosh Roy

    Another milestone achieved!

    1 out of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?
  3. Anonymous

    A lovely book of poetry.

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