Tikuli’s Collection of Chaos– A Book Club Poetry Review

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(From the foreword by Kris Saknussemm) As with all the poets I most admire, words are living things for Tikuli. But as you will come to discover, they are never deployed for their own sake. She uses them to tell stories. The images, scenes, characters and fragments of visionary empathy that you will find in this book are all rooted in her native India-and yet they reach out far beyond national and cultural boundaries. They do so because they have an interior cohesion of spirit.

Her subjects are often the dispossessed, the lost…the abused. There are undercurrents of sorrow and anger. And yet love shines through, even when it seems to be fading away. Above all, there’s a powerful sense of hope at work-a conviction in the redemptive strength of poetry.

Buy this book from:

Amazon/Flipkart/Book Depository

My Thoughts

By now, you must be aware about my love for poetry. I might miss a novel, but I never leave a chance to read the poetry.  When I came across this book, I was interested in it by the cover of the book (it’s so pretty!) and the title. Anybody who can write about chaos deserves a chance as per me. So, I sat with this book, moving its virtual pages, visiting the stark reality of the emotions poet has captured in those pages. The first thing that stood out for me was that none of the poem in the book has titles. It feels as if the poet didn’t want to burden these poems with the few titles. For me, it worked as it kept the mystery of the coming poem intact.

What I liked: 
The subject: These poems talk about the themes like child abuse, those mad women seen on the street, war victims, a mob-stoned woman etc. It’s not easy to do justice to such subjects especially in poetry, but those poem don’t hesitate in expressing themselves.
Raw Emotions: The poetry captures the rawness of the emotions quite well. It pulled me into the verses and made me see those scenes through the poet’s eyes.
One of my favorite poem was about adultery(I just am crazy to like this topic.) Read the following verse and see if you cannot see the scene with your eyes:
I catch your fragrance
each time he twirls
a glass of wine sensuously
and raises it to his lips.
You are there in the smile
that starts at his mouth
and twinkles in his eyes

You are there in the mirror
he uses to take a last glance
before leaving the house
and in the first rays
of the morning sun
that caress his body
as he sleeps

Often I wonder—if
the nights we spend together
match the magic of those
he spends with you—if
the fire of his passion
kindles you and sends
sparks of love into the air?
I can see how he made love
to you in his controlling way—
he tries that with me
I feel his passion
his readiness to devour
my ample form—
I feel it reaching a crescendo

And then diminish
as his craving grows—
his need for your passion
for your body
as I lie next to him
consumed in my turn by
his memories of you

What I disliked 
Repetition of ideas: This is a very common problem when we’re working on short poetry. The book has many poems on silence and conversations. I agree with the poet on these two being the most versatile subjects, meaning that both these things can mean so much, yet nothing; but after three-four poems, it started feeling repetitive to me.
Abrupt Last Line: Poetry is such a subjective thing. Each person sees different things in poems. To me, the poems felt ending abruptly. As in they started very nicely, weaving up the emotions, lining up the scene, and then out of blue, they’ll end.
Last but not the least: I feel the price of the book is too high. Although I got a complementary soft copy, I don’t think people are ready to spend somewhere around Rs 1000 for poetry.

About the Author:



Brought up in Delhi in a family of liberal educationists Tikuli is a mother of two sons. She is also a blogger and author. Some

of her short stories and poems have appeared in print and in online journals and literary magazines including Le Zaparougue, MiCROW 8, Troubadour21, The Smoking Book (Poets Wear Prada Press, US), The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Mnemosyne Literary Journal, Women’s Web. Some of her print publications include poems in Guntur National Poetry Festival Anthology and much acclaimed Chicken Soup For The Indian Romantic Soul(Westland). Her work has also been featured on websites related to gender issues and child sexual abuse.

She blogs at

Stalk her @ Facebook |Twitter






10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tikulicious
    Oct 10, 2014 @ 12:58:40

    Thank you Parichita for this contructive review. I know the price is a bit too steep for Indian readers. It was published in UK for an international readership and in that perspective its not priced high. I do lose out on Indian readers :(. Also, I feel you are right that at times the theme of silence and words becomes repetitive. Maybe if we had divided the book in sections it would have seemed bettter. I will work on your suggestions. Glad you liked the book as a whole and the cover is by my talented friend Rachel Slade. It is her watercolor painting.
    Thanks again.


  2. Sonia Lal
    Oct 11, 2014 @ 07:38:38

    1000 rupees for a poem book?!!! That is the price of a good outfit CI think. If I remember the price of clothes.)


    • parichitasingh
      Oct 11, 2014 @ 21:19:44

      The poems in the book are beautiful. They speak to the readers making them smile and cringe at the situations. As Tikuli commented above, the book is published by UK publications. This does tend to increase the price.


    • tikulicious
      Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:38:33

      Hi Sonia
      Thank you for liking my poem. The book was published in England and the price is £8.16 which is not at all high by their standard. It converts to a high price here I agree. Maybe in times to come I may think of a kindle or Indian edition. Flipkart has increased the amount 😮 it was 800+ few days ago.


  3. Sonia Lal
    Oct 11, 2014 @ 07:39:12

    The one you quoted is a pretty poem though.


  4. Trackback: The Book Club Blog Tour Of ‘Collection Of Chaos’ – Spotlights, Interviews and Reviews | Spinning a Yarn Of Life

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