I have just had the pleasure of reading this short poetry collection by Rishika Jain of The Ethereal Unicorn. Rishika is 13 years old and has already ventured into the publishing world with this new book, a poetic celebration of her love of nature. The impression I came away with after finishing the book was that it had been written in the spirit of Wordsworth’s poem, ‘My Heart Leaps Up:’
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The same is true of girls and women, of course, and this book gave me a timely reminder of all ‘The Ethereal Things’ which we often take for granted in adult life, but which actually make life worth living. In her poem of the same name, she explains how:
For a moment there, I forgot about the crowded street
And just stared at the flower, butterflies
sucking the nectar so sweet
I watched it as it grew
Its petals still flew
Oh such a place to be!
There is a lesson for us all in these lines!
Delight in the simple things
This is the overarching message of Rishika’s book, and it is one we would do well to remember, as we grow older and our minds become crowded with the stresses and strains of daily life. The poem ‘Astir’ expresses this sentiment perfectly. Consider these lines:
I stepped on a dry leaf
It made a crunch sound which filled my ears with music
It soothed me and my body felt free
Free from carrying the weight of the world
And sighing at every mistake that changed a part of the true me.
How often do we miss these little clues from nature which can so easily remind us how to be?
The book is illustrated with beautiful images from Rishika’s time in Hawaii, a place she misses, and where she ‘realised the reality of things, and that/everything has a meaning,’ as she states in the poem ‘Take me back.’ I too have been to Hawaii and I do wish somebody would take me back!
One of my favourite poems in the collection is ‘Soaring High,’ in which Rishika describes being ‘caged by my fear.’ She is afraid to take the plunge and try new things until she reaches an important conclusion:
‘That’s when I realized, all that was stopping me from doing this was me. Just me. And the fear.’
Eventually she takes a leap into the unknown, stating that even if she fell
the fall would have been worth the flight.
I can fly deep below the ocean and swim
high above the clouds.
Rishika is a talented poet with a profound affinity for nature and sense for the true heart of things. I thoroughly recommend this delightful and inspiring poetry collection!