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A gripping and thought-provoking poetry collection exploring the ups and downs of life.

I HAD TO BREAK ME is a stunning and soulful debut poetry collection by Nisha. The poems have a divine quality with reflections ranging from the struggles of life to self-love. The common thread stitching the collection together is the grappling with the idea of suffering and of how to heal and allow ourselves to experience suffering, almost in a necessary way. 

Some of my favorite topics in this collection are the aftershocks of the earthquake in Nepal and womanhood. The grief is palpable as the poet mourns their home in rubbles yet there are tinges of hope in the poems after the expressions of grief. I love the poems that hold longing for freedom as the musings of life entrap the speaker, and the inner thoughts lead the reader to a space of meditation and rumination. 

I like all six of the different parts, going from “WARS” to “ME” because each part is special in its own way, and causes different emotions to rise in the reader from empathy to a sense of empowerment. I like how the poet is not afraid to break apart their past, unashamedly and courageously addressing the areas that have caused them hurt from religious authority to relations to mental health and world events. 

I only have a single piece of constructive criticism to note. Some of the “poems” are short one-liners (“I bang my head against the sky that has no wall”) and do not fit into what I believe can be categorized as a full poem. Though I love the variety of short and long poems, the one-liners often are too short to make much meaning though they can be taken as quotes and reflections of the poet’s  thought process. 

Some of my favorite lines from the collection are “I suffer because I seek the love in others when I am the love I have been waiting for,” “I am cremated every day,” “to forget the diurnal rhythm of the sun,” “when I am stubborn, paint me a smile, even if your brushes are broken,” “oh suffering I watch you enter my spine,” “Mother Nature: I respect your wrath to heal my wounds,” “I am a monkish lover,” “every month I give birth to me.” These lines from different poems in the collection are a poignant portrayal of the variety of emotions flowing from the poet.

I also like the poem title Collective Amnesia. It is interesting how some poems have titles while most do not have titles. Some poems hold question marks at the end, as if to say the reflection is not over and continues with an implied answer, or perhaps there is no clear answer. 

Overall, I adore this collection. The poet has done an amazing job of laying their heart out for everyone to see. Even though I HAD TO BREAK ME can be heartbreaking, it is also an act of freedom and replenishing the soul from the roots to the tips of a person. Well done to the poet and I look forward to reading more from Nisha, as I believe the poet has a lot more to offer in the future! 

Reviewed by

I am a self-published author from Hong Kong. I am currently a postgraduate literature student. In my free time, I love reading and reviewing books. If you enjoy my reviews and would like to support me, please consider using the tips function! Thank you so much!

About the author

Nisha is an unconventional writer who embraces the spontaneous flow of inspiration. In all moments, Nisha is traveling that lush, winding path between inner peace and worldly service view profile

Published on March 09, 2023

20000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Poetry

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