Shyamasri Maji reviews Naveen Kishore’s Knotted Grief (Speaking Tiger, 2022) stating how this debut collection is replete with ingenuity and acumen.
Naveen Kishore’s Knotted Grief is a debut collection of poems that deals with the themes of death, sorrow, pain, longing, and irrevocable loss. Kishore, the founder of Seagull Books, is the recipient of international awards such as Goethe Medal, a Chevalier de l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Ottway Award for his significant contribution to the fields of publishing and promotion of international literature. In the volume under review, he makes an innovative dissection of ‘grief,’ which is an emotion associated with bereavement.
‘Grief’ is usually described as a conglomeration of emotional responses that often begins with a temporary denial of the brutal reality and is followed by anger, reproach, depression, and acceptance of the loss. As observed in the Greek Tragedy, grief is a method of communicating with the dead and then coming back to oneself with stoic enlightenment. In this context, it is a ritual reconstruction of the absent through mourning and melancholia. While mourning is a temporary phase, often contained by the ‘last rites,’ melancholia can be a lifelong experience recurring through reminiscences of the time and space shared with the deceased.