A Necklace of Pearls: Collected Poems, Eunice de Souza, Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, Pp 119, Rs 199.00 (PB)
HAVING taught for 30 years at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai and having written poetry for an equal number of years, Eunice has brought out this collection of poems which have been critically acclaimed and which reflect her strong sense of individuality and feminism. Compelling and succinct, they dwell on the themes of love, relationships and family.
There are a number of poems on her parents and some are quite moving. Through her poetry, Eunice talks of the fraught relationship between parents and their children. For instance, talking of her dead mother, she says,
“Alive or dead, mothers are troubling.
Mine came back and said, ‘I’m lonely.’
I left the windows open and the lights on.
She was buried in blue.
It remained. Nothing else did.
Handed back to us in a plastic bag
her bones are forced into a niche
‘I’m lonely,’ she says.
I dream of her.
It’s the best I can do.”
In another poem, seeking forgiveness from her mother, she says,
“Forgive me, mother,
that I left you
a life-long widow
On reading these poems one tends to conclude that this is an intimate, intensely personal collection.
(Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-110017.)