Book Review: Lei: A Wreath For Your Soul By Somali K. Chakrabarti

 The regular readers of my blog perhaps are aware of my addiction to Nature, Yes, I’m addictive to the hues and tones of Mother Nature. The caressing melody of a waterfall, the glittering darkness of the night, the sashaying of clouds in the sky- I feel enchanted and enthralled when I look at these simple wonders. Nature is my eternal inspiration, my healer, my comfort.

So, at the first glance to the book, Lei: A Wreath For Your Soul, which, according to the author, is “inspired by Nature, reflecting on life”, I was quite hopeful of it being a nice read for me. The book is a collection of poems written mostly in the forms of Japanese haiku (following the 5-7-5 syllable form) and tanka (following the 5-7-5-7-7 form).

Somali has categorized her poems under Nature, Life, Illusion, and Inspiration. All four are inseparable, Nature nurtures and inspires life and the latter often makes us wandering in the whirlpool of illusion.

The poems make you think, wonder and often you’ll be mesmerized by the way the author has painted the world with words. In poems where the syllables are numbered, one has to be nifty in choosing words, the end effect depending entirely on it. Somali has done it with ease, the readers almost lose themselves in the enjoyment of words.

Lei: A Wreath For Your Soul is a breezy read. Like the softness of the fragrant spring breeze, it leaves you in peace and comfort, desiring for more. I especially want to cite this tanka from the collection, this one, I think, has been nicely buoyed by a deep sense of philosophy:

Looking back in time,
joining dots, I find, a few
moments, which seemed
once mild, have surreptitiously
shaped and bent the course of life.

The book is an amazing read for all poetry lovers. I hope the author would come up with more of her collection in the future.
To read more of Somali’s work, kindly visit her blog Scribble and Scrawl
Buy the book: (kindle edition)

66 responses to “Book Review: Lei: A Wreath For Your Soul By Somali K. Chakrabarti

  1. It sure is a task to write in a given set of syllable count. This makes the tanka and haiku poems challenging. What Somali has done is truly commendable. She has tried to bring in so much thought in as few words as possible. I hope her book gets more and more readers.

  2. I like how you wrote this supporting your friend who wrote a nice book. Lovely descriptive review, Maniparna.
    The tanka you chose was a fine one. Some moments bend or change our courses forever. Take care from, Robin

  3. I am sorry to have come in so late here but I must endorse your view Mani, Lei is a wonderfully inspiring book, a pure delight for all. Even if you don’t have the time to look at the beauties of nature, her poems will stimulate you to admire the waves, the sparkling water of the ocean…they will make you smile with the flowers, swing with the breeze and transport you into a different world…a haven of happiness and peace.

    I say so because I have read the book and experienced the ‘breezy read’, love this phrase, Mani!

    • You are so right, Balroop. I loved the book for the very same reasons. Nature always inspires me and I find my comfort in her. Somali has wonderfully depicted Mother Nature in her book..🙂 Glad to know you have read it.. Thank you…🙂

  4. I’ve read the book and it’s indeed a good painting by words as demanded by Japanese poetry forms haiku and tanka. If I have to summarize it into a haiku, it’d be:

    The lei of haiku
    Sense of beauty and wisdom
    A wreath for the soul

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