December 2, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

A review of ‘A Maiden of 29’ by Daya Bhat

2 min read

by K K Srivastava

DB BookA Maiden of 29 – A collection of poems

Author – Daya Bhat

Publisher – Writers Workshop, Kolkata

Price – Rs 100/ Pages 50

Daya Bhat is a poet and translator; she writes poetry both in English and Kannada and translates books from Kannada into English. She contributes articles to Times of India apart from being a painter. A Maiden of 29 is her first collection of poems published by Writers Workshop in 2013.

“Poetry has always fascinated me. I have grown up reciting and memorizing poems as a student and appreciated poetry in later life for the joy of it,” she writes in the preface to her book. The muse has its own joy and those who know the perils and pleasures of the muse also know the joy it imparts. Daya Bhat is one such human being who does not get mellowed at the thought that “you don’t sense my warm vibes” but still hopes that her “message in the cloudless sky” would be seen someday, for “it was never my whim to be an unsolicited intruder”. (“To the Mynah on my Backyard Tree 1”). In this poem and the next one with the same title (2), Daya captures beautiful images of “Your nest—a refreshing vista of my mornings”; “A veil of shifted loyalties” and “future perilously swings” to illustrate the relationship between struggles and sadness.

In the poem “In the Name of Modernity”, she leaves lingering impressions on readers’ mind when she makes inroads into the insight of the paradoxical persona of those “who hit upon a new low each time/ celebrate the delusion of floating in heaven”. In all its vitality, the spontaneity of time when “a few of whom shed their virtues/ by the shore, one by one” is embedded into realities floating from what she refers to as “a surreal lake”.

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