Local poet Jagjeet Sharma’s new collection of poetry is another poignant reflection on the human experience.
“Raindrops” is Jagjeet’s third volume of poetry. It was supposed to launch in May; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration has been pushed to October.
Jagjeet’s poetic style is accessible and reflective. As a freelance journalist, she is a constant observer and she uses poetry to reflect everything from social injustices across the world to the changing of the seasons. “I observe, I feel and I write,” she says in the preface to the collection.
The poems are timely in that they cover Jagjeet’s musings on the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement. She is also passionate about portraying the horrific abuses many women suffer at the hands of men all over the world, but particularly in India. She has written about this in previous collections, but one poem titled “Survivor”, expresses the deep sadness and despair of a woman who has been the victim of an acid attack. “Acid attacks against women have been a common occurrence around the world, with India having the highest number of incidence,” she writes just below the poem.
The book of poetry is unique, in that many of the poems that talk about current events or topics that the general public may not be aware of have little notes at the bottom of the page giving a short explanation. For example, in her poem called “A Cyclical Trap”, which features the Hindu god Shiva, she explains the word tandav as his divine dance. Her poetry about mental health is accompanied by the explanation that one in five Canadians will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime.
Jagjeet’s poems are not only beautifully written, but they have the unique ability to draw even the most inexperienced consumer of poetry into a world of reflection. Her journalistic style makes her poems relatable, easy to read, and she draws on some important topics that have shaped, and continue to shape, human history. “I want to connect with my readers and ask – do you feel the same way I do?” She says about her book. “It’s something I am very passionate about, and I feel I can make more of an impact with my poems.”
Like her other collections, Jagjeet is donating all the proceeds of “Raindrops” to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. She has already donated over $3,000 to the organization and hopes to raise even more money with the sale of this collection of poetry. To purchase a copy of “Raindrops”, you can email Jagjeet at [email protected], and watch out for the announcement of her book launch in the Fall, where you can meet Jagjeet and learn more about her as a journalist and poet.