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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review of What Remains by Nausheen Eusuf

I could not find a false note in this entire collection of sixteen poems by Nausheen Eusuf—unusual for a first chapbook by a young writer. Eusuf delves into the details of her mother’s long illness and death, all the while searching through the varying facets and meanings of fate and home and grief. She balances an understated, observant tone with a number of pretty intricate formal techniques resulting in some very interesting and even exquisite pieces of poetic art.

In the poem Baishakh Eusuf mulls over childhood memories of Dhaka, Baangladesh in short lyrical lines. She says,

When I was a child

I’d watch the fat rain

drops splash noisily

into puddles forming

in the schoolyard.

I’d make sailboats

out of pages torn

from my notebook

and set them asail

the stormy puddles.

I’d race the other kids

But mine always

Went under first.

Later on in the poem we find out that going home is not always a simple matter. The poet explains,

…I want to tell

him that I too can make

the paper sailboats.

I try to recall how I used

to make them, and find

that I’ve forgotten.

For more of my review of What Remains go here: 

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