5/5 - (4 votes)

Author: Deepa Kylasam IyerA sample cover of the book: red coloured handloom sari with gold embossed nameplate and lettering for the title and author's name. The border of the sari lines the right hand margin of the cover.
Pages: 148
Year of Publication: 2021
Price: Rs 450
978-81-953583-9-7 (9788195358397)

About the Author
Deepa Kylasam Iyer studied in National Law School of India University, Bangalore, and Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge, as a Cambridge Trust-Commonwealth Shared Scholar. Her first book of poetry, Turning Thirty & Other Poems was published by Authors Press, New Delhi, in 2016. Her poetry and short stories have featured in journals like Indian Literature, Cyclamens & Swords, Muse India, Auto Didact, Reading Hour, and in four anthologies: Inspired by Museum (British Council, 2015), Inspired by Tagore (British Council, 2012), Voices Israel (2012) and Ars Et Mundus (Cambridge, 2018). Her play Metaphor was longlisted for the Hindu MetroPlus Playwright Award 2012 and Toto Funds the Arts Prize 2013.

About the Book
In her preface, Deepa writes:

‘The word “zodiac” comes from a word in ancient Greek that means a “circle of animals”. By wanting to name this book Zodiac, I originally meant the menagerie of animals. As I began writing, I realized that I could not avoid the portent of star signs. The result is this book about the space-time of a year through the four seasons and all zodiac signs, about love and loss, and the memory of love and loss. Incidentally, this book is also about animals as themselves, and as metaphor for other beings.

If you have read my first book of poetry, Turning Thirty & Other Poems, you would know that my poems are rooted in places as much as in people. So is this second book. The poems are situated in Cambridge, Windsor, London, Pondicherry and Kerala. Sometimes, there are indeterminate places from memory that suspiciously resemble these places I have listed.’

A sample poem is given below.

[To Francis Kuriakose]

Each of the million stars
Is to precisely know
The incremental degree
Of proximity
To grow into the galaxy
And belong.

Each unmelted glacier
Will show
The invisible heat
That unsettles
Mountains of snow
Into weeping rivers
And song.

98 poems spread across 5 sections