Motherhood, heartbreak, loss, love — even the tangible: vegetables, beaches, forests and salons, oh, I wanted to write about it all! The brevity of form made it possible to cover a stunning range of landscapes — emotional and physical. Like a jigsaw puzzle, I kept arranging, rearranging lines in poems, addicted to that dose of serotonin that washed over me when a haiku or tanka set well.
Guavas pop-up here as do sunflowers, nieces and lovers. Playful and brooding, heart-breaking and exultant, these poems strobed in watercolor art, revel as much in the lushness of nature as the depth of feelings found within a human heart.
Jesal has always been drawn to making beautiful connections with seemingly disparate ideas. When a haiku juxtaposes two disparate images, out of the synergy jumps a new, nuanced meaning.
If we look at urban existence, it is fraught with dissonance: the push and pull of expectations, the contradictions within roles, and also — unexpected, raw beauty. So, haiku and tanka seem to Jesal as perfect forms for expressing this fractured, beautiful ordinary life.
Written from the perspective of a young woman, the poems in Tanpura’s Strum draw from the themes of love, heartbreak, loss, motherhood, the progression of time and nature. Set on a wide-ranging canvas of the natural world — beaches, forests and urban flora — as well as the domestic — cafés, homes and street life, the poems rest on nectar-like moments that make us feel most alive, impassioned and at other times soul-crushingly human.
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