Posted in Books

Book Review: Pluto Poems, by Gulzar

For me, poetry is something that’s more than a form of writing. It is expression. It is rhyme. It is breathing. It is life. Sometimes, it’s the short verse that expresses more than the long one. Couplets, haiku, cinquains, even a small five line free verse; it expresses in brevity a whole story. One poet who I admire is the great Gulzar. It was recently that I saw one of his new books had come out. I didn’t wait. I added it to my shelf.

Gulzar laments that Pluto has lost its status as a planet, that it is so far away and so tiny. So he gifts his “pint-sized” poems to it. All I can say is that having such poems dedicated to it, I’m a little envious of that puny planet! How wonderful he writes, addressing relationships and showing the beauty that we miss in what we feel or judge as ordinary.

Reading poetry is something I feel has no order. I open a page at random and breathe that verse in.I opened the book first to a couplet, and that blew me away. It was accompanied by a drawing, but the couplet was such that the drawing didn’t matter. Not to me. In two lines, this brilliant man sums up what poetry is to me, to him, to most poets I know.

If it bleeds, it is but a wound
Otherwise, every hurt is a poem

Not everyone will make their hurt into poems. But I find peace in poetry, so I can relate to and understand these words. It sinks in slowly, settles in the depths of my heart.

In the book, there’s a poem titled “Balm”. It is a poignant take, but another that makes sense to me. Another titled “Holding Up the Sky” leaves me pondering about life. How easy it is to lift a burden, but we forget that it is just as easy that that burden falls on us when we let go of it without moving out of its way. “And You Were Gone” explores death, the idea that it takes us a while to settle after it, and compares it to something that I never thought of. It’s so simple, yet profound.

For me, this book seems his best. I’ve read most of his books, and I hope he writes more soon. The blurb of this book says, “In Gulzar’s work, even the darkest moments are filled with light; hope never gives way to despair.” And that to me sums it up perfectly. For me, it’s a book that speaks a lot, for I take refuge in the hope that poems bring to me. They say every poet or writer looks to become like the masters. I can’t be a Gulzar, but one day, I hope, I can write something in brevity that speaks to its reader as much as that couplet in this book spoke with me.

This is a book I shall read over and over again.

The Bookworm Rates This: 5/5
The Bookworm Rates This: 5/5
Book Details
Title: Pluto Poems
Author(s): Gulzar Genre: Poetry
ISBN/ASIN: 9789351365082 Publisher: Bloomsbury
No. of Pages: 126 Price: 299

I own a copy of this book. The views expressed here are my own, frank and uninfluenced.

(© 8th April 2015)



Poetry and writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.