Leaves swirl around a black jeep
parked – inconspicuously waiting –
where red meets orange
and failures aspire high,
beyond the clouds waiting to rain.
It’s November – the wind cracks skin
already worn out from life.
© Fiza Arshad, 2016 All rights reserved
Those words that reflect off
from the resounding waves
of the Dead Sea are, in essence,
an echo of an echo whose echo reverberates
within the walls of my room,
becoming writings of a madman counting
the number of days to freedom.
© Fiza Arshad, 2016 All rights reserved.
Your skin like rubber,
the floppy back seat of a car,
has seen the inertia and the momentum
of a fast paced life in Toronto.
Sipping fake pina coladas on the beach near the waterfront;
gawking at the expensive mannequins draped with silk and glitter along Bayview;
sifting through the mud in grey sandals;
snorting loudly at sad scenes from the back of the theater.
Your life memorialized through the scars on your self
haunts the alley ways and tunnels of this world.
© Copyright 2015
“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak is not just Liesel Meminger’s, “the girl-stealing” book; but also a story of “silver eyes man”; the story of “the boy with lemon hair”; the story of “the man with silky hair”; and the story of Death. Situated in Germany during World War II, Liesel is an orphan with a penchant of stealing books. The novel revolves around her life; her growth as an individual; her loss; and the events leading up to her stealing the book.
The novel is from Death’s perspective. Death is similar to Grim Reaper, who collects souls from the dead bodies. My attention was captured immediately from the start as Death talks about the colours of the souls. You would imagine the Grim Reaper to relish snatching the souls and the pain of the humans. However, he seems to be “haunted by the humans”. At this time of World War II, he pities the Jewish souls collected from the concentration camps and the innocents that die as a cause of it. He feels Rudy Steiner’s compassion for the dead soldier responsible for bombing his country. The manner in which Death’s perspective was depicted brought forth compassion. Truly, I felt compassion for Death’s plight and through him for Liesel and through her for the innocent Germans who suffered because of Hitler.
Personally, I enjoyed some of the images used in the novel. The exploration of Liesel and Max’s relationship was one of the beauties amongst the war. The Hubermanns housed Max, a Jew, in an attempt to save him from the German soldiers who seemed to be rounding up the Jews from all over the country.
Unfortunately, towards the latter quarter of the story, I felt disappointed with where the story was headed. After being thoroughly involved in the novel throughout, I expected more from it. I felt that it lacked depth, particularly in terms of detailed exploration of the emotions involved. Furthermore as someone who enjoys the intricacies of language, the latter portion of the novel seemed rushed.
I do recommend this novel. This story definitely makes one reflect on the past events of World War II from a different lens.