In this first collection from a discerning Canadian voice, Doyali Farah Islam draws you toward the same gentle listening place from which her verses pour. Islam bares her inner journey of daily meditation and prayer – decanting in the process, from poet-self to page, bold images, fluid linguistic turns, delightful double meanings, startling word play, deep thought, and small insights. Rooted in sacred stories, in the Qur’anic concept of the Day of Alast (the Day of the Primordial Covenant), and in remembrance of the Divine, Yusuf and the Lotus Flower embraces Abrahamic and Indic orientations without exoticizing either. Yusuf (Joseph) is a figure common to Judeo-Christian and Islamic narratives. He is especially beloved by Sufis. The lotus is common to Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Sikh, and yogic philosophy. In distinct ways, both motifs symbolize beautiful tenacity throughout hardship. Intone these poems. They will call back to you.
The book has already received critical acclaim from poets and scholars alike, including Griffin-winner Sylvia Legris, Governor General's Award winner George Elliott Clarke, and spiritual poet Dr. Susan McCaslin.