Who is the Queen of Hearts?
She is the bite of a plump lip, she is a gaze caught across a coffee shop floor, she is a backbone of iron, she is tree, water, fire and air, a wolf whisperer, she is the curve of a hip slowly explored, created by the deft fingertips of Dipendra Tamang ǀ @thangbalay.
Dipendra, is a rare sort of man. In his debut poetry book he delivers readers a queen, conveyed through linking narratives and themes, in this 91 poem anthology. Not a queen in the ordinary sense of the word, for she is imperfect, flawed, frustrating and fierce at times, but a woman who understands and protects her self-worth and right of place as ruler and regent in her own life. A queen who is girl, woman, mother, and lover all at once (and so many other faces and names).
If you have had the opportunity to connect with Dipendra on Instagram, you will know that he brings a raw and passionate element to his work. The Queen of Hearts is no exception! There is sex, but the Queen’s sensualities are honoured, without sexualisation. In this book passion is not to be taken, it is to be shared and enjoyed. There is a sense of exultation, but not at the expense of equality. This is unsurprising as Dipendra’s poetry on Instagram reflects a strong sense of social justice and respect for women, and this is continued in his debut anthology.
This free verse anthology includes a number of micropoems that offer short sharp jabs of power and passion, as well longer works for the reader to savour. With a mixture of older and newer works, it is clear that Dipendra is developing his creative voice and his writing will only continue to grow and mature.
Ultimately this book leaves the reader with the sense that women are multifaceted, and perfect even when she is being both multiple and contradictory. As Dipendra so aptly writes, women are “strangely beautiful, perfectly flawed”.
Stand out pieces: Resilience for its powerful message; Linger, as it truly does make me want to whisper “Let us still linger awhile”; Her for the punch; and the opening piece, The Queen of Hearts which slayed me.
You can purchase a copy of this wonderful debut anthology from Amazon.com here.
Best for: Rainy days when your spirit needs to be uplifted.
Buy for: The Queen of your Heart
Buy it if: You are spending a lazy Summer afternoon, under the shade of the tree with someone special. Read together and enjoy!
Reviewed by Rayna Halloway ǀ @herheartshapedbox
Based in New Zealand, Rayna is an ever-optimist obsessed with all things poetry. She has aspirations of taking the spoken word world by storm, If only she could get over her stage fright!