Love And Misadventure

by Lang Leav

Read this in about 6 minutes
Lang Leav had made it to the top of the charts when her book of short poems won the goodreads award for the best book in the poetry section. There were mixed reviews seen on the book. Those who liked the book praised it to the heights and those who did not like it criticized the bad writing. A book is no book if it is not written well. Hence, even after receiving the book as a gift from a dear friend, whose choice in books I have come to trust, I did not start reading it immediately. It was after my book was borrowed and circulated around, I decided maybe I should be reading it myself! So, here I am, reviewing the first book of poems, perhaps, after graduating from school years ago.  

Cover page

The cover page is what I call a smart design. A book of poems is usually kept simple on the cover. This book follows the same rules, but it is far from boring. The author herself is an illustrator and there is a small illustration done by her on the cover. The illustration is an image of herself. It is, hmm, cute. The entire book is filled with a shade of brick red which helps to keep it minimalist. The font is eye-catching and shouts the title. 
It was a question I had worn on my lips for days - like a loose thread on my favourite sweater I couldn't resist pulling - despite knowing it could all unravel around me. 
"Do you love me?" I ask.
In your hesitation I found my answer.

Content

The book is a good mix of poems written by the author, probably at different stages in life, collected and divided into three parts. The book begins with a sweet dedication to someone very precious to the author, I guess. 
The first part of the book is called misadventures where the author talks about young love, the wait, the anxiety and not knowing what is to come. This portion of the book is filled with hope. These are sweet love poems about falling in love and wondering if it is right for you. It does not promise happiness but celebrates the spirit of adventure or misadventure as it says. 
The second part of the book talks about the sorrows and circus. It is where the feeling of running around in a maze begins. The infinite future brings confusion. Some hang in and some go on to look for more misadventures. 
The third part is where the promise of forever comes. If someone believes in true love and likes all the rosy bits in a story, this is the section to visit. 
Towards the end the index comes, which is the surprise element in the book. The author cleverly puts down all the poems in alphabetical below the respective sections. It feels like the author wants to keep reads looking for direction until towards the end. 
Do you remember the song that was playing the night we met? No, but I remember every song I have heard since you left.

Language

Lang Leav possess a craft which puts her on the map with other renowned poets! There are poems in the book that take your breath away. You would want to hang on to those words forever. The language is less than flowery. The readers of the generation can identify with her words, Unlike Frost and Shelly who demand an extensive background research before you read their poems. 
As a kid, I would count backwards from ten and imagine at one, there would be an explosion–perhaps caused by a rogue planet crashing into Earth or some other major catastrophe. When nothing happened, I'd feel relieved and at the same time, a little disappointed.
I think of you at ten; the first time I saw you. Your smile at nine and how it lit up something inside me I had thought long dead. Your lips at eight pressed against mine and at seven, your warm breath in my ear and your hands everywhere. You tell me you love me at six and at five we have our first real fight. At four we have our second and three, our third. At two you tell me you can't go on any longer and then at one, you ask me to stay.
And I am relieved, so relieved–and a little disappointed.

Good points

The cover page keeps its simplicity and sophistication without becoming too boring. The writings inside are even better. While reading through the poems you will find yourself being transported to different stages of your life. Every woman is going to identify with the poems inside. 

Bad points

The illustrations inside do not do justice to the writing. They seem too rigid compared to the thoughts of the author which are flowy to say the least.

Overall

This is the first book of poems that I have read in a long time and I am definitely not disappointed. This clearly lives up to the hype. 


Who do I recommend this to

For all the romantics who like simple pleasures in life, this book is made! 


Quotable quotes

I don't think all writers are sad, she said.
I think it's the other way around—
all sad people write.

What is she like?
I was told—
she is a
melancholy soul.
She is like
the sun to the night;
a momentary gold.
A star when dimmed
by dawning light;
the flicker of
a candle blown.
A lonely kite
lost in flight—
someone once
had flown.

She lends her pen,
to thoughts of him,
that flow from it,
in her solitary.

For she is his poet,
And he is her poetry.

Once there was a boy who couldn't speak but owned a music box that held every song in all the world. One day he met a girl who had never heard a single melody in her entire life and so he played her his favorite song. He watched while her face lit up with wonder as the music filled the sky and the poetry of lyrics moved her in a way she had never felt before.
He would play his songs for her day after day and she would sit by him quietly—never seeming to mind that he could only speak to her through song. She loved everything he played for her, but of them all—she loved the sad songs best. So he began to play them more and more until eventually, sad songs were all she would hear.
One day, he noticed it had been a very long time since her last smile. When he asked her why, she took both his hands in hers and kissed them warmly. She thanked him for his gift of music and poetry but above all else—for showing her sadness because she had known neither of these things before him. But it was now time for her to go away—to find someone who could show her what happiness was.

There was a man who I once knew,
for me there was no other.
The closer to loving me he grew,
the more he would grow further.
I tried to love him as his friend,
then to love him as his lover;
but he never loved me in the end—
his heart was for another. 

Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH merakipost.com