Poetry: A ‘bold and refreshing’ collection

Literati and intellectuals hail Kyla Pasha’s ‘High Noon and the Body.’

Momina Sibtain December 13, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Kuch Khaas hosted an intimate gathering for the launch of Kyla Pasha’s ‘High Noon and the Body’, a collection of poetry on Sunday. Many of Islamabad’s literati and intellectuals were present to witness the dramatic reading of the poems and enjoy a cup of coffee with the author. Pasha’s collection speaks to the present.

With the help of distant or departed interlocutors, the work meditates on how we lose and find ourselves again through travel, bringing
the news of war to the front lawn – Pasha’s poetry speaks crisp commonsense to the robbed spectre of death and memory.

She takes the reader through the journey of love, beginning with romance and concluding with an apology. Through the realisation that we are formed by the irreducible compound of love, betrayal, forgiveness and anger, the self opens to the world and the world to the self in Pasha’s poetry.

Ilona Yousaf and Zaheer Riaz along with the author sat on the panel and read out some very bold yet intimate poems from the book. The traditional ‘Wah Wah’(appreciation) -- customary to Urdu mushairah (poetry recital) -- punctuated the readings.

The crowd thoroughly enjoyed and expressed their approval with great delight at the end of any particularly good verse or stanza. The Sylvia Plath-inspired poet talked about how shy she usually is about reading for an audience and said, “I have no idea where the confidence is coming from but I have watched a lot of spoken word performances around the world and I want to bring it to Pakistan.”

Kishwar Naheed, notable Urdu feminist and radical poet, Aruna Kamal, local socio-economic consultant and Haroon, a well-known Pakistani singer were also in attendance.

Amna Qayyum, a recent college graduate working in Islamabad, was mesmerised by the reading.

“The words were very powerful and sincere. You can see there is no malice in the heart of the poet as she writes and the words enrapture the reader and the listener into a very magical world,” she said.

With almost all of the displayed books sold out at the launch, the Islamabad-born poet, currently working at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, was overwhelmed and deeply satisfied by the response.

Panellist Zaheer Riaz acknowledged the work as “terrific and refreshing”.

“To read such bold, open and liberal work that is frank and exudes raw emotions has come like a breath of fresh air,” he said.

“With no deceit the author [employs] undertones of religious conflicts and political instability in her poems that translate into a phenomenal body of work,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2010.


anum | 11 years ago | Reply Some excerpts from the book would have been nice
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