Book Review: Lady in Red by Shankar Kashyap

Rating: 5/5

Love is a theme that has given birth to all manner of literature. This universal emotion has undergone all sorts of literary treatments, yet there is always room for more. Everybody experiences love in a different way, thus there are infinite ways in which it finds an outlet. One such medium of expression is Shankar Kashyap’s collection of poems, titled after the first piece in the book.

More than the actual poems themselves, what I found fascinating were the multiple formats in which the poems were composed. Did you know that villanelle is a powerful Italian format that particularly lends itself to the description of troubled love? Of course, the usual suspects–the ode, ghazal, ballad, couplet, sonnet, and Rubaiyat—are present. Some other poetic forms, such as the triolet, acrostics, minnesang, rondeau, and free verse were also beautifully employed.

I found “That Bonny Girl of Mine” particularly musical. Indeed, most of these poems are simply waiting to be put to a tune. “A Silent Song,” “Black Haired Maiden,” “Heart of Stone,” and “I am Not Who I am” are my favourites in this collection. The heart-rending quality of “Bruise Me with Your Kiss” makes you want to weep for the lover. In fact, it is difficult to pick and choose poems that stand out because each piece is as classy, musical, and enchanting as the next.

This is a book that you pick up when you want to lose yourself in the bewitching world of love so sweet, yet so sharp, a love so strong it can kill, and a yearning so eternal it puts ordinary love to shame.

(The book was accessed via a Kindle Unlimited subscription and recommended by Literoma Publishing Services.)


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