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Poems for a World of Conceits

by Sohaib Ahmed


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First published to the web in 2011, Poems for a World of Conceits by Sohaib Ahmed introduces a collection of the poet's finest works to its audience. Here is a collection of over thirty poems that also mark a break from convention, the rigmarole of popular opinion and widely accepted social beliefs. Chosen from an already larger body of works, Poems for a World of Conceits at once, seeks to find an intimacy with its earlier pieces and then throughout in its more seasoned pieces finding ground for an intensely personal and individual reading experience. All the while, it considers the "mold" that has long since been created in the world of poetry then challenges it only to know what comes of breaking from that as well.

All in all, Sohaib Ahmed, manages with this collection to echo the greats while maintaining his originality. In three poems that often exemplify just this motivation to write traditionally, he brings together the principles of right and wrong- urging others in the future to carry on as well.

The poem "The Cities of all Heaven and Earth", in particular, honors but also draws from very pertinent and natural elements in approaching history (ultimately paying tribute to New York City). In its rich imagery, referring to the hustle, bustle, character and color of New York, the city itself is likened to St. Augustine's city and simultaneously placed in that vein as the greatest of all modern cities, having suffered and moreover proved its resilience. For natives and non-inhabitants alike, this poem may attract readers and incline them to visit and also open the doors to a New York that firmly and resolutely asserts its vibrancy.

"A Sunday in April Being with some at Home" reflects upon the openness and intimacy that began with the Salons popularized by poets. Having spent several years in a small community of artists Sohaib recalls the days and evenings of long and passionate discourses and discussions on the point of art, what separates good art from bad, and how all these arts and the artists themselves can bring joy to lives. Half way through the poem against the backdrop of a rainy Sunday evening in spring,, the poet then introduces affections while, over dinner in this instance, he quite personally realizes how unexpected a pleasure the effect of rain can be and how it parallels in its effect the unexpected though elusive first appearance of love.

Furthermore, with "The Death of the Literary Giant" Sohaib once again comes full circle again at the mantle place of literary history remarking upon the culmination of eras now having seen their end. He notes in this poem how many of the great writers of our times, for example, J.D. Salinger and many others had found their passing especially in the last decade. An avid reader himself, Sohaib warns that without other writers to pick up the chalice of their predecessors, culture itself and consciousness would be less than well off.

Thus, having echoed and maintained, mirrored and imagined things past, present and future, Sohaib Ahmed in Poems for a World of Conceits grows and monumentalizes moments at once private and lends them to the public, poems at once universal and makes them individual as well, poems at once upon the turntable of life and bridges the gaps that allow the process to go on, recording and passing on their inherent significance.

In addition, for the reader of these works, it should be noted that from the title of the collection onwards the author implements the conceit: defined as an elaborate or extended metaphor, ruminating upon simultaneously those very things that connect the individual poems and bind them to the "conceit" of form. That conceit, its...

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