Mala of Love; 108 Luminous Poems, follow up to Mala of the Heart; 108 Sacred Poems, (link opens to our review) is truly a book filled with love. Love comes from all over the world, from different belief systems and which comes in different shapes, sizes and forms. Edited by Ravi Nathwani & Kate Vogt, this is something that the reader can pick up and read cover to cover or something they can flip through and randomly pick a page to find some inspiration. However, the book is organized by time of day, beginning with Dawn, going into Noon and so forth. I found this to be a very unique organizational choice and indeed they chose to end the book with Eternity and when I read the poems included thereafter it was a very appropriate choice.
The authors of the poems come from all over the world; East Asia, Europe, North America and India to name a few. Happily the editors included an index at the back of the book in case the reader wanted to read something by a particular author. Some of the authors are: E. E. Cummings, Langston Hughes, Octavio Paz and Rumi. Included at the end of the book is a section with a short paragraph about the authors which I found quite nice.
Included at the beginning of the book is an introduction which includes a bit about the sacredness of the number 108. Indeed this is a number found not only in mathematics and as the number of beads on strands of prayer beads, but the number itself can be a reference to the Divine. In this one could even use these poems as a form of prayer and/or meditation on love.
One thing that I truly love about the poems included in this book is that they encompass a wide variety of types of love. There's divine love, romantic love, self love and even the love one feels while mourning. Indeed there's something for everyone in this amazing little book, even if you're not a huge fan of poetry!
~review by Jessica Elizabeth
Edited by: Ravi Nathwani & Kate Vogt
New World Library; 2016