Greek mythology seems to rule the world. There are those who like it, and then there is the author of #FDD017, Rishika Aggarwal, who has reached its depths and abyss and come out with questions to Greek Gods themselves, in delicate yet deft handling of large themes, united by one common tenet – the suffering of humanity.
Brace yourself before you read this poetry chapbook, written as a series of questions to everyone from Aphrodite to Artemis and Persephone. Like a lot of Rishika’s works (she has been published in various journals like the Rising Phoenix Review, ), this one is scathing and bold.
On Transcendence, or, The End Of Destiny
Doom girl, unbreaking. When you slammed the jar close, with gold
Still inside &…& when you heard Zeus screaming a broken conspiracy
Across an eternity
Did you laugh?
The book is self-published, as an e-book (though she was kind enough to send us a hard copy). But, as is evident from the poem above, reading the collection requires more knowledge than ‘Zeus slept with everyone’. What’s a broken conspiracy? Why would she find the need to laugh? These works are nuanced and reveal not only her understanding of Greek lore but also apply it to themes beyond love.
The poems combine today and antiquity and ask the Gods of yesterday to about the problems of our day and age.
Like in Fighting Wars in a New Age, she asks Ares, “Is war the colour of ichor-walls, or do you taste it in glitter-decked slogans and screaming computer screens?
It is the kind of book that makes you probe further. It is the kind of art you should support. Although, it would do for the author to have footnotes for each poem, or notes on the poetry explaining them. Because only real students of Greek myth will be able to fully grasp what the author means.
But here’s a note: Do buy the collection. Do read it. Do ask around what it means. (She can be reached at rishwrites.tumblr.com). Poetry today has been reduced to fancy love quotes on Instagram and now more than ever there is a need to make the effort to reach out.
Did the blackhole darkness ever cover them, or did they
Walk to you with jewelled embers on their feet?
Recommended Age group: Anyone with an in-depth knowledge of Greek lore and above 16.
You can buy the book here.