With limited knowledge about this anthology before delving into its pages (apart from the blurb boasting themes of commitment issues and the whereabouts of home), the reader quickly falls into a trance cast by Babel’s relatable poetry. These poems are home. Unsettled is an exploration of Babel herself. Each poem reaffirms the idea that home is carried within yourself.
It is both a brave and terrifying thing to know oneself, but Babel delivers poetry of the most brutal honesty by exploring the flaws of both herself and the people who have shaped her life. Remarkably, in around sixty pages, the reader might feel they know her very well. Her words shine through her wisdom, and her tragedy. Readers may elicit great emotion, as I did, to the poems that strike a chord within. The themes link effortlessly together: she has always been moving and is afraid of standing still.
We see common, but rarely spoken about, insecurities that arise in a world where love is changing, evolving and, in many ways, dying. In one poem Satellites we see the end of a relationship that can never truly die when its broken remains stay on the internet forever. Often, we let a piece of ourselves disappear with it. There is beauty in her words, even when speaking of hollow relationships, fear, and stone hearts. The modern day is a time of Tinder dates and casual flings, and whilst this could be construed as liberating, can also take its toll on the soul over time. Babel’s poetry echoes the loneliness of having a deep heart at university; a place where timings and intentions are so hard to align.
With raw, powerful lessons explored, Aditi Babel is undoubtedly a rising star. For those in need of self exploration: pick up a copy. The irony of the overriding theme – being truly alone – is that this poetry is hugely relatable. We are all searching for a place to belong. We are all searching for something beyond the numbers and algorithms of dating apps. We are all simultaneously terrified of it. You are not alone as you discover, Babel is right there with you. If we all run away from our hearts, eventually we’ll end up running into each other.