Two Poetry Books by Women from Sikkim and Nagaland

“Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change.” 

-Audre Lorde, Poetry is not a Luxury

Here I talk about two poetry books by women from Sikkim and Nagaland who express their views on topics of roots, originality, girlhood and womanhood. These poets, Tenzin Yanchen Bhutia and Elongshila Jamir, talk about their lives, mental health and experiences thriving for peace while living up to society’s expectations.


Published in 2023 “A Book of Emotions” is a collection of 22 poems published from Yanchen’s personal diary which is an amalgamation of her inner turmoil during her adolescence. Her poems revolve around the theme of originality, grief, mental health, and about what society imposes on teenage girls in Sikkim.

Her poem “Homeland” stands out for me as it expresses her roots in her homeland of Tibet which was earlier a free country, but now under the Chinese government. Tibetans (the original inhabitants of Tibet) all around the world are working to free their homeland. Yanchen being a 16 year old girl at a very young age expresses her voice to free her country. 

As said by  Virginia Woolf “I am rooted but I flow “ is how the poet’s will is to her homeland. According to the history, the great his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama had fled from Tibet to India during the 19th Century amidst the revolt by the Chinese troops in Tibet.

She writes: 

“How much I miss 

Being in my land,Tibet.

How much I miss,

The taste of my soil.

The green plateaus, and the Himalayas

And the monasteries,

Filled with spirituality.

My people, my country, my soil.

Though I have never been there,

But the desire to be there,

Will always remain,

Close to my heart.”



YANCHEN was born and brought up in Gangtok but her roots keep her grounded to her Tibetan culture. Some of her poems deal with insecurities and explore the pressures of  being a woman or girl child coping  with responsibilities in a  patriarchal society.

I have felt those affections of my mom 

Everytime she spills her grief to me 

However, I feel I know enough of life 

As in all I promised her 

that I will never let her down “ 

Those small things


She is grateful for her ups 

But she is also grateful

For her downs 

Be the graph”



“she was  a girl,

That was loved by people but not by herself”

Estrangement to Myself


I wish you could have 

Stayed a little longer”

Dear Father



Published in 2023 “It Ends To Begin Again” is Elongshila Jamir’s second book, a collection of poems which deals with the theme of adulting in womanhood. She covers  the different seasons a young woman experiences who has been a self-confessed person.Ranging from winter, spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and ending again in winter.

In the foreword her book is described as “disturbing” but with positive connotations.

“You see ,in life ,when things are undisturbed and remain in stasis ,they tend to stagnate and rot. We are truly alive only when things in our life are disturbed and we learn to move on despite And Elongshila Jamir reminds us to keep stirring ,so that we keep going “ – Vizovono Elizabeth

It’ is in her roots that Elongshila Jamir finds her solace  Looking onwards writing outwards.” She talks about her inner anguish on the themes of being swept away one day when she says 

“ Somedays I am an old forgotten song 

Somedays an old forgotten woman

They say all things are forgotten

But I am afraid 

If it is old things that are forgotten “ 

-Old and Forgotten


Her words speaks out thoughts as:

“I stand in my dream mirroring a dull monologue with devices like roots of an old pine tree from my grandmother’s garden “

Dull Monologue


She rekindles grief as: 

“the ripples in the river 

Slow yet untamed dancing of leaves

Such delicate beats are the way you grieve” 

-Grief and it’s way of touching us 


She showcases seasons as a way of welcoming a person she is fond of,  

“September is for the girl who brings home a new plant to tend. Who hastens to her balcony each time she sees raindrops in her window pane 

September is for someone like her because in countless faint mannerisms she always belonged to September “


Her regrets speaks through her words: 

“I hear merry makings at home 

And the medleys that my father play selectively 

I think to myself 

Perhaps I could have written something more desirable.”

27th December 2022


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