Sivateja Mukkamala Poetry: Love, Life and Liberation

Sivateja Mukkamala

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 100 Price: (paperback) $8.99 ISBN: 9781669831112 Reviewed: February, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

In this poetry collection, Sivateja Mukkamala writes about the trials and tribulations we so often encounter in our daily lives.

There is much that is heartfelt, warm and loving in this poetry collection. A common theme is that of taking the time to enjoy what we have rather than dwelling on the negatives: “Where we/ Count our coins or count our Blessings/ Count our medals or count our Memories/ Count our worth or count our Smiles// Life is a subtle trade-off/ We cannot be best at all things/ But we can be just right with the little things.”

In “A Blunder or a Wonder,” Mukkamala urges readers to “Get out […] into the drenching splitter-splatter/ I shall cease your mind’s impetuous chitter-chatter// […] You shall come alive again/ Falling in love with life ever so fonder.”

The poetry also exhibits interesting wordplay: “As you grow older, I grow younger with you/ As you grow stronger, I am safe weaker with you.” Sometimes, however, this becomes overblown and less effective: “If I do what you do,/ And if you do what they do,/ And if they do what others do,/ And if others do what they do,/ And if they do what you do,/ And if you do what I do […]”

Overall, the work is too dependent on sentimental generalizations, flat prosy statements and threadbare clichés, as in: “magical moments of infinite stardust”; “That I sow is what I harvest”; ‘Be in the moment, my beloved/ Truly/ Deeply Completely/ Blissfully yet mindfully”; “How can I tell you what it means to find the elixir of life […]?” Fresher imagery and carefully chosen detail, wrapped in bold, vivid language, would engage readers more fully.

There’s little doubt that Mukkamala’s poetry is heartfelt, and readers looking for a diary or journal of daily affirmations might appreciate the sentiments expressed here. But the work requires revision to consistently engage dedicated readers of contemporary poetry.

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