In this moving collection, Salma Farook follows a path of romantic love, discovery, and self-love detailed through sections that describe the anatomy of an octopus. The poems touch on the way an ending relationship can tear one apart, but also how someone can put themselves back together and love themselves. There are deep themes of motherly love, admiration, and rebirth and growth.
What is The Octopus Curse about?
This collection is full of “clingy” poems that reflect on how romantic love can cling to someone’s heart even as the relationship ends. Over the course of the collection, the poems move on from mourning lost love to Farook embarking on adventures, admiring her mother, and finally admiring herself. The collection is undoubtedly reflective of a path of self discovery and self love.
This collection is one of poetry. Thus, it does not fit the usual sections I have here because a collection of poetry doesn’t have tropes or a plot really. As someone who has a hard time investing in poems, I really did enjoy this collection immensely. I think it was especially assisted by the fun section headers describing octopus biology in terms of human relationships.
I found the latter half of the collection the most moving, with poems that describe love for children as the ocean and the author clearly coming into her own. I did enjoy that the collection reflects a real journey Farook took in life, including details such as her desire to visit Japan and her attending school for several years where she discovered passion and learned to admire herself.
While it was important for the rise of the latter half of the collection, I did have a harder time reading through the most “clingy” poems at the very beginning. Lost love is a real struggle for many people, and Farook’s emotions are evident in the beautiful poetry. I just wasn’t feeling the vibes as strongly as in the later poems. That being said, I don’t really feel I have much for a section of criticism. These were beautiful poems and Farook is a wonderful poet.
Despite my thin amount of patience for poetry, The Octopus Curse was a nice read. I think it’s especially helpful that the collection follows an upward path of growth for the poet, and thus reads less like a jumble of poems and more like rising action and character development. As I mentioned above, the sections including tidbits about octopus anatomy were also fun and an interesting way to preface the themes of the poems in each section. As the poems move away from the “clingy” romantic love, the sections describe more of the octopus in less of a sad and wistful way. All in all, a very enjoyable collection of poems that I am glad I read.