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Review: Untwine the Wind

books Updated: Sep 11, 2010 15:15 IST
Vir Sanghvi
Vir Sanghvi
Hindustan Times
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Untwine the Wind

Renee Ranchan



pp 110

All over the world, poetry is something of a publisher’s nightmare. On the one hand, nobody disputes that it is an important literary form. On the other, nobody seems ready to buy it either. Nor is there any popular criticism of poetry. There are literary critics applying one set of standards to all poetry, reviewing each other’s poetry and keeping the circle tightly closed.

But because the subject is so vast, and the styles so varied from the English-American school to the less structured European poets, such criticism is often lost on ordinary readers. Renee Ranchan’s collection,

Untwine the Wind

, is not

Renee Ranchan - Author

intended to serve notice that she is the next Nissim Ezekiel. Rather, it is an attempt to collect deeply felt, easily accessible poems in a beautiful package.

That said, the poems are well structured, with language that can be tight and intense (‘Drop-dead routine/ Declining collapse/Walled in itself/ Wrapped warm/in the drone’), the emotions drawn from everyday life (‘This business of living/Nobody mentioned it took life apart/To be screwed back loosely’) and the tone universal (‘Sorrow headstrong/Refuses to call it a day/End its mourning’).

Ranchan is a well-known journalist but so far we have only associated her byline with prose — with columns and features. This collection shows that when she extends her range, she can write poetry with the same felicity.