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Review: The Punjabi Weddings, by Tariq Latif

Stella Stocker, Weyfarers, No. 104, July 2008

Tariq Latif writes about Punjabi communities in Britain and also some which are located in Bosnia, the Middle East, Gambia, Greece and Tunisia in the engaging The Punjabi Weddings. The poems give insight such as in the tightly rhymed 'Variations in History':

They were burning books in Albert Square.
Mo and Shah went in the rain to share
the common outrage of Muslim men.
The crowd jeered as the books burned but when
the flaming pages floated in the air

they clapped...

There are many vivid descriptions of, for instance,

...I wonder if
she's seeing the orange sun
low over the paddy fields,
on the golden sugar cane juice
in clay jars, or the ripe
sun-yellow mangoes
left to cool in buckets of water and ice...

from 'Portrait in Pastels'

There is splendid nature imagery to furnish metaphor. In 'Transience'

The Younger gulls
have chocolate-coloured feathers
that will fade with the seasons.

Only seven weeks ago
we'd held the warm eggs
lightly in our palms, heard the two

that had chipped the shell
utter tiny chitterings
to the infinite sky...