Title: Zikr: An Anthology of Poetic Incantations
Publisher: Leadstart publishing
First Publication: 2021
Book Summary: Zikr by Husna
Do not despair
as you enter
the city of catastrophe.
A Sufi is grateful
for his blessings,
and steadfast in his trials.
“Zikr” is a collection of long and short verses. It is a poetic invocation of the beloved, the central muse. The muse, in the poet’s perspective, is the human experience. It exists, therefore, as much in the dew of rain as in a lover’s gaze. Every verse tells its own story, a deep love of life, longing and melancholia. It draws indomitable inspiration from the human condition.
Book Review: Zikr by Husna
For the longest time Rumi was my favourite Sufi poet. He’s funny, daring at times, and never failed to make me feel peaceful when reading his wise words. Well, here we’re talking about poet Husna and her poetry book Zikr. She is funny, daring, and makes you feel happy while reading her poetry.
If words were liquid, reading Husna’s poetry would be the closest thing to drinking joy. Her poems are simply intoxicating. They go down easy. They will set you abuzz with both the celestially divine and mischievously mundane that hover all around you, unbeknownst to you. For but a brief moment her words will cover you with their puckish wit and solace, leaving you flush and aglow.
The poems in Zikr are wonderfully imaginative and outright readable. They can make the hardest of hearts smile and appreciate words. But that doesn’t mean these poems are only for beginners or the unacquainted. Like anything written well, it’s harder to write something short and great than long and great. To distill what one wants to say down to it’s essence is very difficult. Here Husna is the master. She buries treasure in plain sight.
The most recurring themes in this poetry book Zikr include love, tolerance, forgiveness and God. Most of the poems speak of love and metaphors for God abound throughout her verses. The reader, whether spiritual or not, may be delighted by her habit of speaking of, or to, God in a way that you can’t stop thinking about and will provide new ways of perceiving complex spiritual subjects. Although the poems are rather short, they may be best enjoyed by being read over a few times, in order to truly absorb the beauty of the imagery and metaphors used. The poems may also have a relaxing effect, which could render this an appropriate bedtime read.
It’s incredibly challenging to define Husna’s verses. Her poems, similar to sonnets in length and impact, go beyond poetry or any other artistic expression. They raise up to an unusual blend of undiluted spirituality, mystical philosophy and scholarly theology. Her work transcends the barriers of language, culture and even religion. Love is the indisputable protagonist in Husna’s lyrical meditations, a kind of love that is all-embracing and doesn’t limit itself with categorizations.
Reading Zikr by Husna is a formidable experience. Her effusive verses inebriated me, such abundance of feeling that made my head spin, my heart race. Her passion and abundance can even be overwhelming as there is so much wisdom and intensity in stanzas that it’s sometimes challenging to absorb the depth of their meaning. Husna is dazzlingly creative, but at the same time she repeats herself, and certain imagery such as stars, moons, birds and flowers are ever-present in her extensive oeuvre, and so reading her verses in a row might assimilate to a trance experience.
Amidst such an exuberance of lyrical mystery and universal love, what I will most remember of this collection is Husna’s humble exaltation of the present moment and her capacity to find something to love, something divine in every particle of the universe, even in silences, which express what can’t be articulated in words. When you read this poetry book ‘Zikr’ by Husna, a sudden mystical fog wraps you and teleports you to places unknown; places where you long to go. This book gives you the most basic ideas of life with subtle hints and hard hitting thoughts. You might disagree with poet Husna on certain points, but never you’ll discard her musings all together; as her expression is so beautiful that it is impossible not to admire. Indeed, it is “Poetic Incantation”.