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Book Review: Philia and Sophia, by Nikitha Hingad

A poem to me is a piece of the poet’s heart. It touches a chord with the reader. From a collection, there are a few that do, if not all. This book is divided, as the title says, into two parts – Philia and Sophia.

Philia is a compilation of poems and writings about love and the romantic love most of all. A few poems in this part of the book made me smile. Most of the poems in this part are simple and direct, and rhyme with ease. That rhyme helps it to roll off the tongue when reading.

The most memorable poem for me from this section of poems is the one titled “Love is not…” The poem compares love with the elements and concludes with a bit of depth. I do not necessarily agree with the poet’s comparison, but that doesn’t bring it down in any way. The definition of love changes with each person, so I quite enjoyed reading that what the poet has written.

To be frank, I did not enjoy most of the poems in this part much. They didn’t appeal to me. They didn’t make me stop and think on the; re-read them. It felt like a childish interpretation of love.

Sophia is a compilation of poetry and writings with a message sometimes evident, sometimes hidden. This part was better than the first one, with the poems feeling closer, more urgent, and more complete. It also encompassed more than just one thing, so that helped.

From this section, the most memorable poem for me is “It’s not I”. I very much enjoyed reading it, and went back to it afterwards too. I could relate to it, and especially with the ending couplet. But it also made me wonder if the poet had thought the lines through. “It’s not I who fail, but the loser within” didn’t make sense to me. Other than that couplet, the rest felt true.

This section was much better, and I went back to a few poems which had made me stop and think. It made me wish the poet had written more on Sophia than about Philia.

Any book is first judged by the cover. It’s what makes us pick the book up. Yes, the blurb at the back or the genre (if we’re fond of it) helps suppress or ignore a bad cover, but the cover definitely matters. For a collection of poems related to love and wisdom, the cover felt right out of a chick-lit or romance novel theme. It didn’t fit, I feel.

I like the pencil sketches that are scattered in between the poems. I enjoyed seeing them, and I felt they made the book more interesting too. I appreciate that effort which she has taken. Perhaps a pencil sketch of a girl at a table, writing, might have made a better cover page.

The book has interesting poems, but doesn’t quite make a mark.

The Bookworm Rates This: 2/5
The Bookworm Rates This: 2/5
Book Details
Title: Philia and Sophia
Author(s): Nikitha Hingad Genre: Poetry
ISBN/ASIN: 9781482846065 Publisher: Partridge Publishing
No. of Pages: 180 Price: INR. 350

Reviewed for the author, who gave me a soft-copy of the book. The views expressed here are my own, frank and uninfluenced.

(© 18th 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.

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