Loss, suffering, and death tallies entered the everyday vocabulary of COVID news and dinner table conversations. In this desensitised world, Mafazah Sharafuddin’s In Memoriam, with a poem by the same name as its headliner, comes as an enclave which wombs each of us to share the burden of these dark times. The poet is an enthusiastic final-year student of Journalism, Psychology, and English.
With a staggering span of forty poems, this anthology published by The Alcove Publishers has a genealogy that sets it apart from the plethora of books being published every minute. What makes this anthology one-of-its-kind is that Mafazah’s experimental artwork, and not just poetry, is scattered across its pages. This artwork has travelled a long way to the pages of the anthology, from the ink of her pen onto the cursor of her computer.
Candied words and ornamental language would not grasp the authenticity of emotions explored by this poet. The poetry and art in this anthology is grotesque, in-your-face, shocking, and helplessly black-and-white, just as the pandemic has been. Her works have the air of critically acclaimed composition, making In Memoriam an archive of groundbreaking originality.
This visual entry into her world-building is a sought-after experience after the success of her first anthology, Labyrinth of Emotions, which she got published at the age of sixteen.
The poet shed any illusions of normalcy at the threshold to compile this book. To explore the erratic waves of emotions and paper cuts of the pandemic, the poet and artiste embraces the abnormal and breaks patterns of language and art. After all, would rule-obeying, syntactical art or poetry do justice to the perils of the pandemic generation? So, as the poet eloquently puts it, “The world falls apart, and all I can do is tell its story”. This anthology, then, is as much our stories, as it is hers.
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Paperback: In Memoriam
Kindle India: In Memoriam
Kindle International: In Memoriam