A Choreographer’s Cartography by Raman Mundair
(Peepal Tree Press, ISBN 1900715805)
Raman Mundairâ€™s second collection of poems sees her expanding her territory to create a new poetic geography. Her voice dances with her love for the language and life of the Shetland Islands through the anguish of war to the movement of people and the crossing of boundaries. She brings to all a combination of passion and compassion, sensitivity and sensuality.
â€œMundair isn’t afraid of politics and wears her heart on her sleeve. The anti-war poem “”Blood Season”” reflects on the “”steel tsunami”” of war and the 24-hour coverage that has her “”head free- falling with the rolling/news, trying to make sense””.Â
This was followed by a poem dedicated to Abas Amini, an asylum seeker who sewed his eyes, ears and mouth shut to protest his right to refuge being refused: “”And with your mouth sewn shut/what a song/ you sang, what a poem/to pin back deaf ears – what a noise,/what a cacophony/ and what a silence/to greet it.””Â
She also read the moving and visceral poem “”An Elegy for Two Boys”” (for Stephen Lawrence and Ricky Reel) from her first book, Lovers, Liars, Conjurers and Thieves, which never fails to stun with its bolt of raw passion.Â
With “”A Choreographer’s Cartography””, the title poem from her new collection, she has us all chanting with her the poetic refrain “”This earth, everyone’s sanctuary””, which becomes both assertion and rallying call.
…Raman Mundair is a rare breed: a poet whose writing works on the page and the stage. Her readings reveal the secret music of the poemâ€¦ Mundair is literature at its best: thoughtful, provocative and sharp.â€