‘Tapestry Poetry – A Fusion of Two Minds’ by Avril Meallem, and Shernaz Wadia – A Review

Published by: Paddy on 11th Nov 2013 | View all blogs by Paddy
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If you wish to get drenched in a soft rain of words, if you wish to savour the ambrosia of sheer poetry, if you wish to be treated to a fusion music of lovely lyrical sounds, then just start browsing through the pages of ‘Tapestry Poetry – A Fusion of Two Minds’ by Avril Meallem, and Shernaz Wadia.  I did that and am left asking for more...!
Dr. Kumarendra Mallick, a scientist and a poet, begins his Foreword to the book by asking, “Can there be a sky without birds, a sea without colours and girls in spring without dreams?” And he goes on to answer his own questions by saying, “Perhaps never, so also there shall be no poets without imagination....It is also true that mind is a flow of thoughts. Thus, mind, thoughts and poetry are inter-related and provide a 3-D view of the society from sublime to mundane...” How True!  I have never before read a more succinct explanation for the poetic process and expression....
In their Preface to the book Avril and Shernaz describe ‘Tapestry’ as “...a genre of poetry composition in partnership. When the variegated threads of our two distinctly individual poems are woven together, the result is a word-scape that stands by itself. We chose the term ‘Tapestry’ as it beautifully captures the sentiment and essence of this form”
According to the two poets, separated by two continents as Shernaz lives in India and Avril in Israel, “We met in Mumbai, India in February, 2010 and decided to work together on a style of collaborative poetry writing whereby each writer composes a nine line poem on a title chosen by one of us. Then the two poems are interlaced line by line with minimal changes. (Avril had once worked with this form in Israel). After a few tries at this via email, we decided to form our own rules whereby far greater editing and mixing of lines is undertaken....Thus we embarked upon what turned out to be a most challenging and exciting poetic journey...to try out this innovative genre of collaborative poetry writing”
What a journey! What a collaboration! And indeed, what a tapestry of poems! This concluding verse taken from ‘On the Same Wavelength – Tapestry’ (Page 23) – sums up their partnership and meeting of minds beautifully:
As kindered spirits,
Let us rejoice and celebrate 
As we merge into one entity
And soar through the universe
On a single song;
A new purpose to fulfil.
Avril Meallem and Shernaz Wadia’s  ‘Tapestry Poetry’ is a rich and varied offering of 9-line poems written individually by Avril and Shernaz on a single topic and then artistically interwoven into tapestry poems of vivid designs. From the four seasons – ‘Winter Sky’, ‘Spring’, ‘Summer Flowers’ and ‘Autumn’, to the beauty of nature through its ‘Roots and Branches’, ‘Sun Rays’, ‘Snow Flakes’, ‘Hidden Pearls’, ‘Beneath the Waves’,  to ‘Coming Home’, ‘When the Gate Opens’ with ‘Sounds of Silence’ – one’s mind weaves one’s own tapestry through these poem titles in the book!
Irrespective of the topic, each individual poem and each tapestry delves into the recesses of their mind to etch out a philosophy of life that is at once deep yet easily understood.
Will there be more journeys to complete
as I zigzag down the maze?
Or will I have come home
when I reach the vast ocean?

In the cycle of my soul
will this rambling life morph
into eternal Light Divine?
(‘Coming Home’ – Tapestry – Page 49)
my song
no words

my destiny
in the silence of being  

softly it emanates 
from a place of grace

the sound of silence 
secures my spirit  

my song 
softly emanates
from a place of grace

the sound of silence
secures my spirit

my destiny
in the silence of being
(Avril and Shernaz)

(Excerpts from the poems and ‘The Sound of Silence – Tapestry’ – pages 56 and 57)

The above poems and Tapestry are just a sampling of how the two poets, residing across continents, have been able to think independently and then find a common ground for their poems. Here’s another that just blew me away:
A flicker of light tell me that
I can change my story,
re-write my song, so that
another path will be smoother
Another’s feet will find thorns forever
for my having embraced
every journey with joy and surrender
and traversed unafraid
the spiny course of the undergrowth

(‘Travelling Through the Thicket – Tapestry’  – Page 71)

One cannot miss the poets’ deep philosophy on the journey called life in the above Tapestry. I could find an immediate personal connect with this one...
‘Open Hand’, ‘Prison of Pain’, ‘Corruption’, ’Seeds of Hatred’, ‘Boom!’ and a few others amply articulate the concerns of the poets on a variety of issues that  are common across  continents in this 21st century too.

It is not easy to review a book of this kind that on every page, has a multi-layered poem each on the same topic by the two poets, that have been then merged into a single poem through the sheer magic of their word craft and wordplay. 
‘Tapestry Poetry – A Fusion of Two Minds’ surely provides one an altogether new understanding, appreciation and experience of the sheer joy of poetry reading. Even for the one uninitiated into poetry, this book offers a rich fare of reading pleasure to develop a love for poetry...because of its novel approach and innovative genre. No better way to get hooked to poetry, I believe...
A small piece of advice – this  is a book that deserves to be acquired for keeps as a treasure....

To know more about this genre of poetry, read here

Book Information:
ISBN : 978-965-9195401-04
Lavi Publications
Jerusalem, Israel

Price $13.50

In India:

Printed by End 2 End, Printing & Allied Services,
455, Nana Peth, Laxmi Road, Pune 411030, India.

Price : Rs. 230/-

Contact Poets : aemallem@gmail.com, shernazwadia@aparnaonline.com



  • Padma
    by Padma 4 years ago
    Dear Paddy, I was so glad to read this review and you've put Avril's and Shernaz's names on the top of the world! I strongly feel, both of them deserve it. They're wonderful writers! You've done a great job and helped many people know about this form of poetry that's informative, imaginative and interesting! As I know this form well, I loved this review a lot! Thank you for doing this valuable task and sharing it!
  • Paddy
    by Paddy 4 years ago
    Dear Padma, Avril and Shernaz are truly great poets. They are already on the top of the world! They don't need me to put them up there! I have attempted to write this review in the way I know best. I'd like to know what Avril and Shernaz think about this one. I earnestly hope that I have done justice to their amazing work.
  • Shernaz
    by Shernaz 4 years ago
    Dear Paddy, You have captured the essence of the book, the nuances of the poems in such glowing terms that I too want to revisit the poems and look at them from a fresh perspective. It is very kind of you and Padma to say that we are on top of the world, but we are still learning, trying constantly to give our best. That our efforts resonate so wonderfully in others' minds is extremely gratifying. Thank you Paddy, thank you very very much. Padma, your words too will stay with us like Paddy's as we strive to write better poems in future. My respects to both of you for this encouragement and for this lovely review, Paddy. Shernaz
  • Paddy
    by Paddy 4 years ago
    Dear Shernaz, it was a complete pleasure for me to read and review this book. Hope to be fortunate enough to get the opportunity to read and review many more of your books in future. One suggestion. Considering the novelty of this genre, i believe, you should enter this collection of Tapestry Poetry for Sahitya Academy Award ( I do hope they have a category for Indian English Writers - I don't know) and some international awards too.
    Have just incorporated in the review, a link to your article on Tapestry Poetry.
  • Padma
    by Padma 4 years ago
    Dear Shernaz,,, We speak out our minds frankly and did the same! See! Great writers are always encouraged, praised and admired by everyone! Regards,,,,,Padma.
  • Saf
    by Saf 4 years ago
    Paddy, Shernaz and Avril, have really opened up a whole new world to us. This weaving of poems written by 2 different individuals, on a single theme, is not only poetic, but the challenges that sometimes surface are the enrichment of the soul and a source of enlightenment within ourselves, to allow ourselves to blend into another with a certain sense of sacrifice, when one poem compliments another... the experience, I believe is most valuable, like the saying is, the destination is not the only things that matters, the journey is the bigger part of the moulding of the destination..... Loved your effort in the review too Paddy! Thanks a ton for sharing.
  • Paddy
    by Paddy 4 years ago
    Dear Saf, You have so beautifully explained the making of Tapestry Poetry that I'm sure, you'd have done greater justice to this review. "the journey is the bigger part of the moulding of the destination..." so true! Thanks for your insightful and amazing feedback. One of the best feedback I've ever read...
  • Malsawmi
    by Malsawmi 4 years ago
    Always enjoyed reading the tapestry poems of Shernaz and Avril in YS of Muse India. It's wonderful that they've brought them out in book form and made it available for more readers. And the review posted here is itself poetic and lovely to read.
  • Paddy
    by Paddy 4 years ago
    Thanks very much Mesjay, for that warm and encouraging feedback.
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