Sum of Worlds by Naima Rashid

Category: Poetry
Rights: All rights available

What is it like to have a conversation with oneself? What worlds do you cross when you meet all parts of you, broken and whole, in a great and courageous reckoning? The continents that you have lived in, how do they change the contours of yourself? How do these altered geographies show up when you unfurl the self?

Sum of Worlds is a map of being and becoming. Woven of worlds within and without, the poems range from fleeting Monet-esque impressions of unending summer afternoons in childhood (‘Vortex’) to a moment that rattled in every breath for fifteen years before finally becoming a poem and breaking free (‘Continents Breaking’). A sense of place marks these poems, yet through that mysterious alchemy unique to poetry, these intensely personal encounters become conversations we all feel we have partaken it, like ‘Weave’, which takes place in a localized setting in a pre-partition bungalow in Lahore, but is, at its heart, a conversation between any millennial and their grand-parent.

In their form, the poems tease the very notion of what poetry is — where its beating heart, and its limits, if at all, lie.