Writing in a common language

23 01 2010

Today I’m just gonna share a poem with you.

It appears in an anthology I received (after a few obvious hints) for Christmas a couple years ago. It’s The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poetry, edited by Jeet Thayil. [click the picture to go to the Amazon page]

It covers 55 years of Indian Poetry written in English, featuring the selected works of 70 poets, all of Indian descent, living either in or away from India.  It’s a beautiful mass of diverse and varied poems. Though they’re all Indian by origin, you can see how the poets are influenced not only by their own shared Indian culture, but Western and other traditions too.

The one I want to share is by Sridala Swami an I’m dedicating it to RB:

All Music is Memory

All music is memory:
a lone wind trapped in the chimes,
a window rattling dolefully
in time to the movement of the night

If my life were stretched
across the drum of centuries
I might have time to discern
the pattern in the creaking of trees.

But destinies drown through time.
A million years are lost
and I try in vain to cup my hands
and hold a note, a scale, a song.

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One response

15 04 2010
The Insulting Cabaret. Nuff said mate. « Potpourri Express

[…] *if the name Thayil sounds familiar, it’s cos back in January I blogged about the anthology he edited (and contributed to). The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poetry. Remember? […]

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