Janmohamed's second collection continues the poet's journey,
tracing the inception and annihilation of sacred fire. In a
series of highly evocative, personal poems, Firesmoke explores
the meaning of truth and the self, finding them both in form
and emptiness. In her unorthodox, broadminded quest for
understanding, Sheniz evokes the teachings of Sufism,
acknowledges the restorative power of the Mother Goddess and
honours the alchemy of nature. Life and death do not exist
without each other, just as fire produces both ash and
smoke, one falling to the ground, the other rising into
"Wondrously impactful Firesmoke, evinces a rare poetic genius in capturing oppositional impulses in Nature and seamlessly sutures form with content to provoke the reader to journey with the poet to boundless territories that are at once undergirded in the Natural world and manifest in the worlds of our imagination. Thus Life and Death, Loss and Victory, Fire and Water -- all become part of the poet's lexicon, which she has developed through an impressive imagism: the crow, rivulets, the sari, Goddess Durga, are all a part of her linguascape and each signifies a certain ideology or philosophy. Sheniz has ascended from her first collection of poetry Bleeding Light and yet that signature spark of passion continues to assert itself through the new collection. Felicitous, forceful, feminist and fecund, Sheniz is a powerful voice with a refreshing resonance among the best new Canadian voices. Her poems espouse a system of love-based faith which celebrates life and revival in the midst of death and decay, and presents a Sufism that looks back and races forward in the age of instant communication."
--Julie Mehta, academic and author of Dance of Life: The Mythology, History and Politics of Cambodian Culture
Praise for Bleeding Light:
"Sheniz Janmohamed is one of a very few new poets who has mastered the form of the ghazal in a way that brings together the emotional aspects of the form and the expectations of the listeners who know the form and its cultural unity: mystic illumination, rhyme, refrains that exude passion, and couplets with wise insights. The couplets in her eloquent and appealing ghazals dazzle one with their precision, sudden turns and brilliant use of the cultural memory of language and imagery."
—The late Dr. Kuldip Gill (Professor, Poet and Mentor)
“Bleeding Light is a beautiful compilation of contemporary Sufi poetry that combines creative imagination with artistic majesty. These ghazals of Sheniz Janmohamed bring to light an all too often forgotten classical poetic sensitivity of longing for the Divine and praising the arrival of the Beloved. It is my hope that these poems find wide readership for such beauty will enrich the lives of those who contemplate the visions within them.”
—Meena Sharify-Funk, author of Encountering the Transnational: Women, Islam and the Politics of Interpretation (as posted on MyBindi.com)
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-927494-42-4
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eBook ISBN: 978-1-927494-60-8 (EPUB)
paperback; 112 pages
Publication Date: October 2014
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