Bleeding Light is a collection of poems in ghazal form that traces the steps of a woman’s journey through night. She knows that in order to witness dawn, she has to travel through dusk first. Throughout her journey, she is caught between West and East, religion and heresy, love and anti-love, darkness and the knowledge of light. Each couplet is an independent thought and reflection, a pearl strung into a necklace. Bleeding Light is fraught with opposing, stark and often violent imagery heavily influenced by Sufi philosophy.
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The ghazal is a form that dates back to 7th Century Persia and has traveled, in its lyrical and written form, from the Middle East to the South Asian subcontinent. In the last 2 decades, the ghazal form has reinvented itself in English, finding its voice in North America. The traditional form consists of couplets with repeating or rhyming refrains, internal rhyming and a reference to the pen name in the final line.
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 Kuldip Gill, Poet, Author and Educator
Seldom have I read poetry that makes me feel like I’m traveling across a spiritually charged landscape, where I don’t know whether my feet are touching water or land. Or is it both?
– Fez Meghani, Producer, Musician and Devotional Singer (Dallas, Texas)
Bleeding Light is a remarkable achievement, to say the least, and it’s a valuable contribution to the story of Muslims and South Asians in the West. I honestly cannot think of another contemporary Sufi poet that honors the Sufi tradition, while at the same time creates something unique to our time!
Jehanzeb Dar, Activist, Filmmaker and Blogger (Nominated for “Best Writer” by the Seventh Annual Brass Crescent Awards for his Muslim Reverie blog) (Langhorne, Pennsylvania)
BLEEDING LIGHT GALLERY: