Subliminal Dust, by Pooja Mittal: Poetry from Odyssey Books

Silence is never silent so long as there is a listening ear. (Back cover of book.)

After four readings of Subliminal Dust I am still finding lines to enjoy differently. The poems bring out voices in movements, whispers amid chaos, sounds trapped in small rocks, the stretching voids of unspoken emotions, terribly pale silences.

There is music in this triangle, as in a shell ..

subliminaldust 2865

Iain Sharp of The Sunday Star said of Pooja Mittal, ‘Exceptional … A voice rather like that of a Zen master – insightful and enigmatic in about equal measure‘.  Zen often springs to mind on reading her poems, in particular the notion of koans.

Kōan, in Zen Buddhism of Japan, is described as a succinct paradoxical statement or question. The effort to “solve” a koan is intended to exhaust the analytic intellect and the egoistic will, readying the mind to entertain an appropriate response on the intuitive level.

I don’t suggest that Mittal intended her work in quite that way but certainly her images and unexpected juxtapostions had that effect for me. They set you loose from the usual tightness of linguistic meanings and adrift into the spaces and arenas of one’s own mind.

Gentle universes that float past 
like tall, starry ships .

A favourite poem for me is ‘Seducing A Poem’ (p. 26), which so well conveys the frustrations of writers and the patience needed to bring to the fore that elusive something that you know you must write down, somehow.

.. come here poppet on little black shoes ..

Pooja Mittal has been widely published  since the age of 13. At 17 she was the youngest Featured Poety ever in Poetry New Zealand. In 2007 she was featured in The Best Australian Poetry 2007. Her work has been performed in Moscow in Russian translation.

Subliminal Dust was published in 2010 by Odyssey Books . This publisher also brings out more fine poetry by artists around the world. For instance, consider looking at How To Wake A Butterfly by Loic Ekinga and at When No One is Watching by Linathi Makanda, poets based in South Africa.

Where to read and buy Subliminal Dust:
See the links here to publisher Odyssey  Books, to Amazon (where it is FREE on Kindle Unlimited, to Bookshop Org, to BookDepository (free shipping) and Waterstones UK.

Mark is guardian and blundering typist for Mawson, one of this bright world’s few published bears. He is the writer-bear of She Ran Away From Love and  It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In

2 thoughts on “Subliminal Dust, by Pooja Mittal: Poetry from Odyssey Books

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