A full-length poetry book published by World Tech Editions in 2015, is about healers and healing, with an emphasis on herbs or “natural” remedies. The book is divided into three sections, Supplicants and Sufferers, Natural Therapies, and Perhaps a Doctor on Call? A table (Herbs and Countries) at the end of the book gives the herbs or plants involved in each poem along with the many regions of the world, and the historical context.
From a review by Elizabeth Socolow: I can think of few books of poems which have taught me so much. The language is keen, condensed, startling and sometimes horrific. Most of us will only have encountered any of this in the witches of Shakespeare’s Macbeth “Fillet of a fenny snake,/In the cauldron boil and bake;/Eye of newt and toe of frog,/Wool of bat and tongue of dog.” This is a compendium for which to be thankful, encyclopedic, brilliant, vivid, alive.
From a review by Marie Kane: The opening and closing poems in the book, “Ra, the God of the Sun,” and “More Than Lingering Roots,” offer an antidote to the frequent medical mayhem of the poems they enclose. Using locations throughout the globe, various mythologies from Greece to Asia, the history of ancient civilizations, and more modern medical attempts to heal, Kumar explores eager and yet often reckless and misguided remedies to relieve pain and disease. The poems in The Skin and Under brilliantly explore medicine’s extraordinary power to both heal and harm, and, in doing so, reveal humanities’ need to alleviate pain and misery in any way possible.