Wet Silence: Poems about Hindu Widows
author : sweta srivastava vikram
pages : [paperback] 52
Wet Silence bears moving accounts of Hindu widows in India. The book raises concern about the treatment of widowed women by society; lends their stories a voice; shares their unheard tales about marriage; reveals the heavy hand of patriarchy; and, addresses the lack of companionship and sensuality in their lives. This collection of poems covers a myriad of social evils such as misogyny, infidelity, gender inequality, and celibacy amongst other things. The poems in the collection are bold, unapologetic, and visceral. The collection will haunt you.
I love reading poetry. I used to think it was a chore but after a few classes and really learning how to read and appreciate the form, I’ve been on the lookout for interesting collections to read. This one caught my eye and I’m so glad that I joined the blog tour for Wet Silence because it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever read.
The sheer difference from one poem to the next, although the theme of widowhood ties together each piece, is startling. So many women can live through the same experience to the effect of endless different emotions–happiness, terror, sadness, relief. Everything that I, coming from the perspective of a white American, might associate with the loss of a husband and more. These ladies are exceptionally powerful, whether she’s lost the love of her life or gained freedom from a failed arranged marriage.
The length and breadth of the poems change, though the theme remains steadfast throughout. I loved how there was a little index in the back giving details about words and phrases that are common in India that readers might not know. It makes it that much easier for the average person to engage with the poetry, at least at some level.
Because of this, as well as the accessibility of the messages ingrained in the writing, I really hope people pick up this collection. It could be a great starting point, either to delve deeper into the world of poetry or to learn more about Indian culture.