Death of Radha and Other Poems

Niharika Mishra

APRIL 2023 • ISBN: 978-1-887276-29-0 • S 19.95

“We observe a generous spirit that finds
inspiration everywhere, at all those places
which the heart recalls as its own.” — Bibhu Padhi

Death of Radha is a complex book that deserves
our attention in a world of simplistic, black and white answers,
and Niharika Mishra is a master of the English language who makes these poems take flight.” — Rolando Pérez

(following are excerpts from the preface written by author Rolando Pérez:

“Death of Radha and other Poems by Niharika Mishra is an original book, traditional and modern at the same time. It begins with a rupture and the quest to find that which emanates from desire and transcends it. The name Radha itself invokes–if I am not mistaken–the Radha-Krishna dyad, i.e., the coming together of the feminine and the masculine forces. For while Krishna represents the masculine force, Radha, as the Supreme Goddess, is the feminine emanation of love or unity….  And in “The Enigma of Being a Poet,” Mishra positions both poetry and herself as a being (poet) who is best illustrated as an enigma. She writes:

It is a poet, yes, who is not where he is,
Always in search of that something which is
The mundane truth of life for others.
The eyes don’t see what they fall on.
A nether world always keeps building
on the ashes and the hopes of the ordinary and the
primordial. (9)

She refuses to give us simple answers, as in the poem, “Born Out Of Books” wherein she presents her own form of feminism. It is not that men do not know how to love women, but rather that there are people in general who don’t know “about love” (116), Mishra writes. Men have taken, she says, what they have wanted from women, and have foolishly called it life. This, declares Mishra, is the truth found in men’s books. But women know that love is a search, and not a state of being (116).”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Niharika Mishra is an Indian poet who originally hails from the picturesque hilly town of Dhenkanal, Odisha, that has been an undeniable source of inspiration for her. Sprouting from this serene atmosphere, her love for poetry reached its height with legendary Odia poet Ramakanta Ratha’s Sri Radha and gradually moved towards Kamala Das, A. K. Ramanujan, Shiv K Kumar, Jayanta Mohapatra and Prof Bibhu Padhi who are eminent names in Indo-English poetry. Death of Radha and other Poems is her first collection of English poetry and as with most of her poems, they bear witness to her prominent longing to understand small details, nature and people around her. Currently, she teaches English language and literature in the capital city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, India and keeps writing, drawing inspiration from the immediate surroundings.