Book Review
A Rose
By: Karen Swenson

I was very affected by what you have to say in this book, particularly in those poems about Pakistan. They are a cry from your heart and you express your feelings with such gentleness that contrasts with the violence you are writing about, "delicate ideas like/ butterfly wings sitting in/ the cusp of the day...." I think we all need" A prayer to save us from ourselves...." Most certainly it is true that "It takes more courage to silence/ the barrel of a gun than to fire it." You voice the voice that is in so many of us.

I love it when you let your fancy fly in words, as in "Phantom" when "in the rose garden where clouds/hang from the roof and the sun/ runs away into another world." Your spiritual poems are as lovely as ever. I particularly liked "Night Star," "Your World" and "Snowball."


  Book Review
A Rose
By: Khushwant Singh

Syeda Henna Babar Ali who I had the privilege of meeting on my last visit to Lahore many years ago has sent me her collection of poems A Rose. The first poem is A Prayer For Pakistan. What she has to say about her country most Indians would say about India. I quote two passages from

The layers of rot sit on top
Of garbage heaps, corruption, poverty and hunger.
The burning hatred of greed kills within.
The body politics in strife, strikes
And the head falls with loving sadness
On wilderness clouds in protective wings
To find a new life, a diffident destiny;
A prayer for God to guide the misguided,
Help them live a life of wisdom and devotion,
A life devoted to a mission,
A life where He plans
Destiny for a better future - enables them, to seek guidance, protection, fortitude,
All is not lost - Allah cares for Pakistan.