Cover Image: When The Night Agrees To Speak To Me

When The Night Agrees To Speak To Me

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Member Reviews

This poetry book talked about the divine power and weakness in sexuality when presented to different-minded individuals, It addressed different ideas of equality and self-acceptance, but more importantly, it gave me a sense of understanding human nature better. 

I consider the interview with the author a part of the novel because even the responses were from the heart directly and they were poetic that shifted my reality when reading through. I can say with confidence that this became an immediate favorite and I cannot wait to read her other work(s).
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I really liked the first half of the book! The poetry was so beautiful and so well written! Half of them are highlighted on my kindle and I really did love and appreciate this poets writing. I just wish there had been more of it!
If felt like after the halfway point the flow of the poems completely switched. Much longer and chunkier and it just turned into a Q&A with the poet!
Don't get me wrong I like that but not for half of a book!

Anyway, I did love how it had each poem in French then in English! And reading the Q&A I loved how that resonated with the poet and why she decided to do it!
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I love the story of Kazim Ali's discovery of this book and natural translation, a compulsion he couldn't resist.

And I appreciated the prose sections of the book, which felt there was a kind of urgency to the subject.

The initial poems in the collection had that ambiguous "you" and the more abstract swath-painting of existential feelings, which didn't feel as if they had any "teeth" for me. As a reader, I wanted more to hook into in terms of detail and circumstance.

I want to thank NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I read this within an hour and thoroughly enjoyed it. Many and many of the poems hit a deep place inside and I will be looking into the author's backlist titles. This poetry book talked about the divine power and weakness in sexuality when presented to different-minded individuals, It addressed different ideas of equality and self-acceptance, but more importantly, it gave me a sense of understanding human nature better. 

I consider the interview with the author a part of the novel because even the responses were from the heart directly and they were poetic that shifted my reality when reading through. I can say with confidence that this became an immediate favorite and I cannot wait to read her other work(s).

Favorite Quote:
"In the end, the skin hides the rotting that goes on beneath, and is the only armor against death."

Thank you Net Galley and HarperCollins Publishing (India) for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my honest review and thoughts..
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I have a love-hate relationship with poetry, so unfortunately I didn't get to enjoy this one as much as I wanted to. I enjoyed it in parts but overall it didn't work for me. Though I must say that I loved the way the French version accompanied its translation in every instance. Made it feel more complete somehow.
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This was beautiful. I randomly selected it because the title and cover intrigued me and I was interested to read more poems in translation. I will definitely be reading more by this author and several lines will be stuck in my brain for days to come.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read a digital version of this book! 
Poetry has always felt like challenging genre to review, when some poems that inscribe themselves into your brain and others can simply feel like page fillers within the same book.
This however, may be the easiest poetry book I’ve ever had to review. As the visceral reactions and emotions I felt from this collection were unlike many I’ve felt before whilst reading. The dark, gritty and sometimes sensual poems contained in this book are some I’m sure to never forget. This truly is a stunning collection whilst also being highly accessible to beginners dipping their toes into the genre.
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The English translation and original French are provided in this collection and an interview with the poet is included at the back where the issues around translation are discussed, among other things. A lot of thought has gone into the structure of this book - and it works well.

The majority of the poems are lyrical, dark, and emotive. I loved the fifth poem, 'Outside, the brambles wait' which has beauty in its simplicity and language. The final couplet is

'Rain on my skin
A gown of acid.'
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I was so impressed by this poetry collection, especially as it is translated from French to English. The book gives you the two side by side and although my French is very poor these days, I still enjoyed looking between the two. You would never have guessed that this is a translated work, Kazim Ali has made Devi's poetry run so smoothly and beautifully. It is a credit to both of them - Devi's original text must be just as easy and enjoyable to read. Here are a few snapshots of pieces that I enjoyed:

Poem 9:
"Peel back my skin. Unclothe me of myself,
Look closer:
Read a fortune in my guts."

Poetics of Islands:
"I could have written poetically of the islands since they draw our destiny with their constellations on the ocean; I could have spoken from the heart of this resonance, the sound of water on the sense, forgetting that their volcanic earth and basalt roots are all that anchor them and keep them from drifting out to sea, that they hold in them the stamp of time, of the ages, of people sanded down, the people we have become."
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When the Night Agrees to Speak to Me by Ananda Devi 

This is a poetry and prose collection by Mauritian author Ananda Devi and is translated from French "Quand la nuit consent à me parler" by Kazim Ali. 

I loved the way English each piece was accompanied by its French counterpart. It feels complete.

Themes that resonated with me were those of words unsaid,  relationships and discourse on the female form / body in a way that is completely new. 

There are no titles, only numbers so when talking about my favourites I would have to say number 18:

"You are the measure of silence 
And the noise that breaks it
The word is final denial 
There were no murders without words to name them 
What is left for you to say?
Imperfect word, word defeated." 

Also numbers 22, 30, and some others that you will need to read for yourself 😊

Something quite different and which was a game changer for me was an interview with the author at the end, which gives insight and gave me an added appreciation for the work. I've never read anything from Mauritius and would not have given due consideration to the various cultures that have influenced the work.

"Poetry is our vein a door without it words die a slow death." 

If you enjoy women led literature and of course poetry then I think you will like this collection.

I'm so excited that my first #NetGalley read was this copy of #WhenTheNightAgreesToSpeakToMe and look forward to discovering and sharing more gems, like this one, with you.
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I have a love-hate relationship with poetry. I don't tend to read much of it, but I am trying to read outside of my usual genres, and I have to say that this book was a very pleasant surprise. It was originally written in French and the translation did a great job of maintaining the lyricism and portraying the deep meanings. The book was split into three sections - poems, prose and interviews. The poems section was my favourite, but I really enjoyed reading the interviews too. It added a more personal touch to the book.

The prose took some time to get into and understand fully, but the messages were clear and I'll be thinking about them for some time.

Overall, this was a beautiful collection of poetry about the struggles of femininity and life in general, and I would recommend it to any fans of this genre.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Ananda Devi and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A beautiful collection of poetry, read in one sitting and would recommend.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a digital copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

This book was originally written in lyrical French verses, by Ananda Devi, which was then translated by Kazim Ali, who was able to convert these verses to portray their deep meanings in English, representing tragic struggles and the struggles of feminization. This book is divided into mainly three sections: Poems - both French and their English translations, Prose - both French and their English translations, and excerpts from a heartfelt interview between the writer and translator. 

Poems
As a French student myself, the poetry in this book captivated me in a variety of ways. The imagery and symbolism are inserted so well and the messages being represented are really important for the readers to appreciate, no matter the language. The French poems felt more lyrical at times, which was expected, but the English added elements of clarity that were necessary as well. Some of the poems were a bit short, but I still enjoyed them nonetheless. 

Prose
This was my favorite section, personally. Both languages managed to portray heartfelt literature, and some of the sentences impacted me so much that I wanted to reread them over and over again (which I did). The personality that was etched into this section of the book emphasizes the touchy subjects being discussed.

Interviews
This added a much more personal feel to the work being portrayed to us, the readers. Being able to hear about the emotion and thought that went into, specifically, the understanding and translation of this book, made it feel truly more significant. While, at some times, this felt a bit jarring due to the sudden shift in language, it still felt very meaningful.

Overall, I enjoyed this book more than I thought it would, and it was a positive change of pace being able to read poems in both my languages. I look forward to reading more work by both of these lovely writers.
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I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I enjoyed this book. I liked how it had each poems in French (original language) and English. The way the book was set up looked nice and was pleasing. 

I will admit I didn't understand all the poems but they were beautifully written. Some of the poems in this book really touched me. Definitely would recommend to other poetry lovers.
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The cover is gorgeous! This seems to be a good translation. It still seems to flow well in English. I like that it's in both French and English. I like the little stories within the poetry. The writing is very well done, it makes me want to learn French to see how different it might be. I would recommend to anyone who loves poetry.
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As someone who is trying to get into French-English literary translation, this is a fascinating book as we get the poems in both French and English. The structure of the collection highlights the poet's complex relationship with the multiple languages she speaks.

The poems are written in a very simple and bare style, and yet it manages to invoke complex images. This collection illustrates that less is more.
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This English translation of When The Night Agrees To Speak To Me was a joy to read. The titular poem - an expansive piece in 30 short parts - was particularly engaging, with an economy of words that provided urgency and pace. The French and English versions of each poem are presented alongside each other so you can appreciate some of the shape and poetry of the original French even if you do not entirely understand it. 

I do not have the fluency in French to comment on the accuracy of the translation but I certainly got the sense that every single word had been given thorough consideration. The interviews shared at the end of the volume confirm the collaborative approach between the translator and the poet in this project, which gives me confidence that I have not lost any of the intended meaning and intimacy through reading the English version. The language is treated playfully, but not irreverently, and I think this volume would be accessible and enjoyable for many people, even if they do not tend to read a lot of poetry.
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This was just not it for me. It didn't make me feel anything, it didn't paint any pictures, it just did nothing. The words were beautiful and I did enjoyed the layout of the book.
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A lovely book of poetry translated from French.Beautiful poems the French version next to the translation. Into England.I enjoyed the thoughts the words of the author.Will be recommending.#netgalley #harperindia
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This is a lovely collection of poetry by a poet from Mauritius who writes in French and translated lovely by Kazim Ali. The collection is very brief, though, and half of the book is taken up with an interview between the poet and the translator as well as some literary criticism of her work. While these add some to the understanding of the poems, the poems themselves do not need all this background material; they stand strongly on their own about issues of femininity, sexuality, and colonial politics.
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