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There are many great writ­ers and poets, but when Sabeeha Hus­sain used her In­sta­gram ac­count to share her po­etry, the au­di­ence she got was much more than she an­tic­i­pated. Be­fore she knew it, mes­sages were flow­ing in and for a wor­thy rea­son; there was some­thing in her po­ems that had those that read it hooked. She gave words deeper mean­ing and re­flected on life is­sues many peo­ple could re­late with, like love, heart­break, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, racism and other so­cial is­sues. All th­ese found their way into her sassy and cap­ti­vat­ing po­ems. When she told me she was go­ing to pub­lish her com­pi­la­tion of po­etry, I knew it would be worth it.

The book is di­vided into six chap­ters, ti­tled; Spark, Ig­nite, Burn, Ashes, Em­bers and Ris­ing.

Spark is filled with love po­ems. Eas­ily un­der­stood, it has a long last­ing ef­fect. Sabeeha uses sen­tences to cap­ture the idea of love as some­thing giddy, over­whelm­ing and ex­cit­ing. The chap­ter comes well to­gether as the po­ems flow one af­ter the other. The next chap­ter ig­nite, re­flects the storm that comes with heart­break and the emo­tion in the lines seems al­most too real. The raw­ness and tragedy shows an ex­em­plary use of su­perla­tives.

Burn moves on from love and heart­break and hits hard on is­sues such as rape, child mo­lesta­tion and gen­der discrimination. This poet is known to be a strong fem­i­nist and hu­man rights ac­tivist and used her te­lent to ex­press this in ‘Soul Un­rav­eled’. This chap­ter is my favourite. Her fiery per­sona is splashed all over the pages of Burn and I was all for it.

For Ashes, she fo­cuses on the sides of numb­ness and de­pres­sion for the heal­ing process of the pre­vi­ous chap­ters, Ig­nite and Burn. It deals with the pain in­flicted by heart­break, the discrimination, and the rape. The de­scrip­tive­ness of feel­ing in this chap­ter proves that in­deed the more I read and the deeper I got into the book, the bet­ter the writ­ing be­came. It’s as if she was slowly reel­ing out of her co­coon to show how her word play could cut through.

Em­bers is filled with po­ems

Au­thor: Pages: Pub­lisher: Re­viewer: Soul Un­rav­eled: Ris­ing from the Ashes Sabeeha Hus­sain 188 No­tion Press Haf­sah Abubakar Matazu

of self-worth and aware­ness. This chap­ter is not as em­pow­er­ing as the pre­vi­ous ones that have her car­ry­ing the reader, but rather, it gaves the im­pres­sion that she is writ­ing in her com­fort zone and left the dar­ing­ness she starts with be­hind.

The con­clud­ing chap­ter, Ris­ing, is all about heal­ing, ac­cep­tance and start­ing afresh, car­ry­ing the scars left be­hind af­ter heated bat­tle. In all hon­esty, she nails it with the last chap­ter, leav­ing me need­ing to turn more pages, show­ing that in­deed, ev­ery­thing can be over­come, whether through strength or weak­ness.

Over­all, ‘Soul Un­rav­eled: Ris­ing from the Ashes’ is a thrilling com­pi­la­tion of po­etry. The theme of the phoenix and the flow from death to re­birth is en­thralling. For a de­but, it’s a per­fect blend of dark­ness and light, easy to un­der­stand and a plea­sure to read.

Sabeeha Hus­sain

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