Malakshmi Borthakur’s collection of poetry, Splendid Signature: Rhythmic Strokes of a Quill, is a noteworthy contribution to the domain of women’s writing. This collection of 50 poems deals with various themes such as individuality, love, mythology, economic deprivation, childhood, and social violence. Borthakur has a direct and simple style of writing that communicates the deep questions women face regarding their rights to equality, dignity, and independence.
The poems in this collection are an expression of the poet’s concerns with cultural, ideological, and value-related hurdles, which are problematic if not threatening. The language used in the poems is straightforward and easily understood, making the collection accessible to a wide audience.
The poetry collection captures the essence of hope and positive intervention through the struggles women face in contemporary society. The poet asserts that motherhood, family, and traditional norms are not the only concerns women face. The larger social expanse has its influence on women’s lives at both subtle and unsubtle levels.
The simplicity of Borthakur’s writing takes over in most poems, making the reader feel that all is not right with the world. Despite this, the poems also express a sense of fulfillment and hope in a few places, emphasizing positive intervention. The use of apparent clichés in some of the poems is done softly and easily, but there is a suggestion of a dramatic shift when we consider the title under which these lines are placed.
Borthakur’s concern with the travails of existing norms bearing upon sensitive sections in our midst is reflected in her exploration of the theme of love. The poet aims to project emotions as part of experience she visualizes in contemporary surroundings. The images of love in the collection are of a distinct character, not associated with the conventional relationship between a man and a woman.
The book also deals with questions of culture, where poetry is situated. The poet’s aim is to grasp the contentious truths of culture, ideology, and the folk tale, and build an account of distinct creativity. Borthakur’s poems are a form of feminism taking shape as the individual mind grapples with the nuances of complex living.
Splendid Signature: Rhythmic Strokes of a Quill is a valuable collection of poetry that explores the themes of women’s rights, culture, and feminism. Borthakur’s simple and direct style of writing makes this collection accessible to a wide audience. This collection of poems is an excellent addition to the literary domain and is highly recommended for readers who are interested in exploring women’s writing.
I wish you the author the very best in further contributing greatly to the ever-changing sphere of literature.
Preeth Padmanabhan Nambiar
Author-Poet, Educationist & Humanitarian
President & CEO, Writers Capital International Foundation