REVIEW: The Octopus Curse by Salma Farook

Title: The Octopus Curse
Author: Salma Farook
Publication Date: November 1st, 2019
Publisher: SeaShell Publications
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy From the author (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN
Blurb Description: Science would have us believe that we are nothing but cell upon cell. I disagree. We are made up of stories. The stories we hear from our mothers, the ones we tell our daughters. The tales we share with sisters and friends. The ones we never say out loud, but are heavy on our minds and run like a fever in our blood.
There are a multitude of great divides between us; race, religion, cultures, the way we dress, the languages we speak, but the stories we tell bridge us together in the universal tongue of smiles, tears, pain and laughter. They remind us that, as women, we’re all chasing similar fairy-tales.
This book is a call to celebrate the bridges, delight in our stories and to focus on the joy in our lives right now, rather than racing behind the happily-ever-after. That will come in it’s own time.
There’s a bridge,

Between holding on
And letting go.
I just need to find it.
Maybe the reason why
I can’t
Is that my feet
Are planted firmly on it.
Every goodbye sounds like Hello.
Each step closer, the further you go.
- ‘I need to cross’

It's hard to find good poetry - verse that manages to capture what you feel but can't put to words; poetry that manages to be immersive, understanding and so deeply personal.

I've only really loved two poetry collections - Nikita Gill's Fierce Fairytales and Caroline Kaufman's Light Filters In - and when the author of The Octopus Curse pitched her book to me, I was a little apprehensive but excited nonetheless.

The first part of this collection read like a series of cliche poems on a love that never ended, perfection and more. There was nothing wrong with it, it just... wasn't deep.

I put the book down temporarily and with my busy work schedule, 'temporarily' turned into a bunch of weeks and when I finally picked it up again, I was DETERMINED to finish it.

And then, The Octopus Curse SURPRISED ME!

The poems grew into politically relevant, inspiring, deep pieces that I thoroughly enjoyed and continuously highlighted. I feel like the author grew as she wrote this book and so did her writing and it ended up being something I really enjoyed.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau,

In India, A rape occurs every twenty minutes.
That means
Three times in an hour,
Seventy-two times a day,
And over five hundred times a week,
I should remember to be thankful
That at least this time,
It wasn’t me.
Because when
A daughter of this great nation, (In which Goddesses are revered)
Cries out in pain,
Justice arrives
A little too late,
A lot too cold,
And in 3 out of 4 cases,
It never arrives at all.
- ‘When will it stop?’


Would I recommend it? YES! And I would recommend not judging it until you finish the book. Like I said, there is a lot of depth in the latter half.

I'll sign off with another of my favourites from this collection:

I am the bridge between continents,

The merger of languages,
The fusion of cultures.
I am the reminder that the lines
We once drew between ourselves
Were not meant to be fractures,
But only to show how our borders
Fall together like puzzle pieces.
- ‘Migrant’

Salma FarookSalma Farook is a Seychelloise doctor, writer and poet. A mental health and positive-thinking advocate, she strongly believes in the role of interfaith harmony and the power of words in making a positive impact on the world.
She was born on the islands to two ‘very Indian’ parents. She grew up on the islands and went on to complete Med-school in India. She believes the scenic beauty of the Seychelles and the cultural impact of one of the world’s oldest civilisations gave her the best of both worlds.

Although adept at observing tiny quirks in people and fascinated with the mechanics of human relationships, she regularly pushes doors that very clearly say PULL. She currently lives on Mahé with her husband. She loves, loves to hear from her readers so reach out to reach.wysak@gmail.com.
 

Have you read any poetry collections recently?

Who would you recommend I read next?