K. V. Dominic Essential Readings and Study Guide: Poems about Social Justice, Women’s Rights, and the Environment by K.V. Dominic: Book Review | Poetic Book Tours


Synopsis from Goodreads“K. V. Dominic Essential Readings” gathers for the first time the three most important works of poetry from this shining new light of contemporary Indian verse in English: “Winged Reason,” “Write Son, Write” and “Multicultural Symphony.” A fourth collection of 22 previously unpublished poems round out a complete look at the first 12 years of Dominic’s prolific and profound verse. Each poem includes unique Study Guide questions suitable for South Asian studies curricula.
Written in free verse, each of his poems makes the reader contemplate on intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, political, and social issues of the present world. Themes range from multiculturalism, environmental issues, social mafia, caste-ism, exploitation of women and children, poverty, and corruption to purely introspective matters. From the observation of neighborhood life to international events, and everyday forgotten tragedies of India, nothing escapes the grasp of Dominic’s keen sense of the fragility of life and morality in the modern world.

Publisher: Modern History Press

Date Published: September 1, 2016

Date Read: November 2016

No. Of Pages: 284

Source:  Copy provided by Poetic Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Check it out on Amazon.

About the Author: Internationally acclaimed poet Prof. K. V. Dominic (Kerala, India) is the author of three major volumes of poetry about the natural world as well as social and political commentary: Winged Reason, Multicultural Symphony, and Write, Son, Write.



We need more of this in the book community. This masterpiece had to be written, not just for the sake of empathy but more importantly for awareness. I always challenge myself with the books I read, there are books that are easy to read and will be forgotten in the years to come, but also there are books that would stay with you – this book is one of them. The beauty of how it depicted the pressing issues in the society that we live in, lyrical yet with impact. Something that had to be said over and over drilling it into the minds of the closed-minded ones. I commend how rich and how it was able to show the other side of what people usually miss out. It wasn’t just promoting awareness, but immersing ourselves into the reality that we face day in and day out. It was more of an invitation to do something about it, to finally stand up for what we believe in. Stand up for the things they often shut us out.

The poems varied from important social issues, to culture, women’s rights and yes even environment. You would easily notice the author’s persistence to make all these problems and all these issues be relevant, to be talked about and eventually resolve them, in whatever for it may come from. I commend that the author used his vast knowledge and experience in concocting a truly revolutionary work. I loved how he used the written words as medium to send the message across. It is as if it is a summon to awaken one’s sense to see past the veil of oppression and passivity. It was more than a collection of poems, it is a voice that demands to be heard.

Take the poem Mother’s Love for an instance.

Maternal love, love sublime

Inexplicable, unfathomable

Noblest of all emotions

Visible both on human beings

and other beings


Maternal love is transcendent emotion

Both human species

and other species possess

I am perplexed

by some sporadic disasters

A mother offering her

affectionate daughter

to please her lover’s sexual urge

How could she throw her dead child

to the hungry wold?

How could she suppress

the divine emotion of maternal love?

also the poem I Can Hear the Groan of Mother Earth

I can hear the groan of mother earth

being raped by her own beloved human sons

Having sucked all milk from her mountain breasts

quarry deep out of construction mania.

and this passage from the poem “A Nightmare”

A lavish wedding feast was served in the town hall,

rich delicacies heaped on the plates,

were relished by the pompous guests

I could see two ragged girls outside

struggling with the dogs in the garbage bin.

Now this poem is my favorite: Pleasures and Pains

Pleasures and pains;

two sides of a coin.

We toss it early morning;

majority gets the pains side.

Pleasures come like sprinkle,

while pains fall like deluge

and continue like monsoon.

Happiness is a mist

while sorrows shower like snow.

There was something so haunting about his poems. KV Dominic’s poems were written in such a manner that it is easier to grasp and fully digest, it was straight to the point without any reservations whatsoever. It was as honest as it could get. My ultimate favorite would be the whole collection of poems under Write Son, Write.

Now I could highly recommend this one for someone who wants to branch out to poetry and at the same time would want to immerse himself in social awareness and the present predicament that the humanity faces. This would be the perfect book.

Rating: rating_4stars


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Dear Almost by Matthew Thorburn: Book Review | Poetic Book Tour

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Synopsis from Goodreads: Dear Almost is a book-length poem addressed to an unborn child lost in miscarriage. Beginning with the hope and promise of springtime, poet Matthew Thorburn traces the course of a year with sections set in each of the four seasons. Part book of days, part meditative prayer, part travelogue, the poem details a would-be father’s wanderings through the figurative landscapes of memory and imagination as well as the literal landscapes of the Bronx, Shanghai, suburban New Jersey, and the Japanese island of Miyajima. As the speaker navigates his days, he attempts to show his unborn daughter “what life is like / here where you ought to be / with us, but aren’t.” His experiences recall other deaths and uncover the different ways we remember and forget. Grief forces him to consider a question he never imagined asking: how do you mourn for someone you loved but never truly knew, never met or saw? In candid, meditative verse Dear Almost seeks to resolve this painful question, honoring the memory of a child who both was and wasn’t there.

Publisher: Louisiana State University Press

Date Published: September 1, 2016

Date Read: October 5,2016

No. Of Pages: 88

Source: Copy provided by Poetic Book Tours



Dear Almost is a painful depiction of how fleeting everything is – gone before you had the chance to grasp it into your hands. Matthew Thorburn will take us into the center of their grief and loss over their “almost baby girl”. I for one is not a parent yet, but you need not be one to understand and feel the depth of the emotion this poem conveys. This book attest to human’s attachment to other people, however brief or however long the relationship had been, or however real or just in “concept” it was. It is true what they say, it is more painful to let go of something that was never yours to begin with. It was told in a what-could-have-been concept. How their baby would have looked like had she reached this certain age, or how she would have reacted or what would she have liked had she grown up and experience everything that life has to offer. There was so much beauty in the way Matthew Thorburn portrayed it, it was vivid, making it all the more heartbreaking that it already was.

What went wrong

for no other reason, finally,

than that it didn’t go right.

Ours is the story of how

is became was and was became

wasn’t became no,

became not. The story of our

almost girl, our might’ve been.

It wasn’t just simply mere lamentation of parents, but it was a howl to the wind of something they have no control over – it was as though every grief and loss no matter in what form it came, is universal. You grieve over something that should have stayed a little longer.

So give me a sign if

you’re out there, if you’re

the light swaying, swinging

between trees, that light

growing faint, drifting deeper

into the shadowy woods,

if you’re that pale glow


between the elms and alders.

What star do you steer by?

Where are you going?

Tell me you can hear this

if that’s you who pauses

beside a ragged oak,

head cocked to one side

like a doe, light bouncing back

from your dark eyes,

if that’s you moving under

starlight and moonlight,

waiting for a gauze of cloud

to dim the world


so you can slip away

once more. Tell me, are these

your footprints I find

in the morning in the dark

wet earth, faint traces

in the muck and loam

that slowly fill with water?

Matthew Thorburn offers a profound understanding of what it is like to hold on to a memory and eventually come to terms with the loss. Through the change of the season, or the length of time that passed, it was ultimately something that would inevitably be a part of a person – their sadness and grief fuse with their persona making them a deeper and stronger version of themselves. Dear Almost engages the reader to feel the immense pain of undergoing such unfortunate loss, the regrets and plans made that will never come to fruition. The whole idea of the book appealed to me so much and couldn’t help but pass it on to other people, may they be poetry reader or not. Matthew Thorburn has earned a new fan in me.


Rating: rating_5stars