I’ve never reviewed a book of poems before, let alone one that is ‘the world’s oldest collection of women’s literature’. But as soon as this was delivered I was picking it up daily to read or reread or re-reread a poem. This is without doubt an inspiring collection, oozing with both courage and compassion. These no nonsense lines of early, early Buddhist verse were written by the very first women to practice meditation. They are all anyone could want in honest encouragement in what it is like practicing mindfulness and meditation; how it is frequently seriously difficult but also how it can be fantastically rewarding for both ourselves and others.
There are stories of unimaginable struggle:
do you remember when disease came to your family,
you were the only one to survive?
A life of debts I could never repay
pushing in on all sides
like the weight of the sea
The more you read these poems, the more the change in living conditions but the disappointingly familiar struggles for women become clearer and clearer.
But most strongly you come away with an understanding of the immeasurable potential there is in all of us, whatever our present situation.
And so this is an uplifting, barefacedly-honest poetry collection that talks of resilience and joy and of letting your mind go…… its well worth your time.