December 7, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Book Excerpt: Stray Poems by Abhay K. (Poetrywala, India, 2022)

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An exclusive excerpt from Abhay K’s latest collection of poems Stray Poems (Poetrywala, 2022)

Stray Poems consists of poems written over a decade during my travels across the world and imaginary journeys to the planets in our solar system and the deep reaches of the universe. Most of my poetry collections are named after places such as The Seduction of Delhi, The Eight-eyed Lord of Kathmandu, Prophecy of Brasilia, The Alphabets of Latin America, The Magic of Madagascar and so on because I organize my poems according to geographies, having studied Geography at Kirorimal College, Delhi University for my bachelor’s degree and later at Jawaharlal Nehru University for a master’s degree. However, these poems did not fit in any of the anthologies mentioned above.

Therefore, I thought of putting them together in the form of a separate anthology. Stray Poems includes my Cosmic Anthems— anthems on all the planets in our solar system, as well my rewriting of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. In fact, ‘The Partitioned Land,’ which is a rewriting of ‘The Burial of the Dead’ in the South Asian context, was taught at Cornell University in Fall 2021. It also includes a number of poems on human desire in its myriad forms. I think the book will be a treat for the readers who like to be surprised and shocked with a smorgasbord of emotions. 

Commenting on the anthology Irish poet Gabriel Rosenstock writes- 

“Abhay K. strikes such a cheerful, sensual and sunny note in so many of his individual poems – and anthologies – that he seems to be deliberately going against the grain of much artistic expression today. He is not blind to man’s folly and cruelty, yet optimism wins out in this cornucopia of stray poems. How refreshing that he has chosen not to be dourly imitative but to strike the anvil with a pure, ringing sound and rhythm all of his own.”

Here are a few poems from the poetry collection—

About the Book

Stray Poems takes you on a poetic ride across the world, to the moon and planets in our Solar System and to the far reaches of the Universe and then back to our glorious Earth! Bon Voyage! Abhay K. strikes such a cheerful, sensual and sunny note in so many of his individual poems…with a pure, ringing sound and rhythm all of his own. —Gabriel Rosenstock, Poet, Ireland

Abhay K. is a trusted guide to modern poetry, to the journey in which we are seeking truth, peace and justice…feel the spirit of God coursing through his lines. —Indran Amirthanayagam, Poet, USA

About the Author

Abhay K. is a poet, editor and translator. His recent poetry books include Stray Poems (Poetrywala), Monsoon (Sahitya Akademi, India), The Magic of Madagascar (L’Harmattan, Paris), The Alphabets of Latin America (Bloomsbury India), The Prophecy of Brasilia (Colletivo Editorial, Brazil), The Eight-Eyed Lord of Kathmandu (Bloomsbury) and The Seduction of Delhi (Bloomsbury). He is also the editor of The Book of Bihari Literature (HarperCollins India), The Bloomsbury Book of Great Indian Love Poems, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Great Indian Poems covering poems from 28 Indian languages and over 3000 years of Indian poetry, and CAPITALS–a poetry anthology on the capital cities of the world.

He is translator and editor of New Brazilian Poems (Ibis Libris, Rio). His poems have appeared in over 100 literary journals and magazines, including: Poetry Salzburg Review, Asia Literary Review among others. His poems have been translated into over a dozen languages. Abhay K’s poem-song, ‘Earth Anthem’, has been translated into over 150 languages. He received the SAARC Literary Award 2013. He was invited to record his poems at the Library of Congress, Washington DC in 2018. His translation of Kalidasa’s Meghduta and Ritusamhara, both published by Bloomsbury India, received KLF Poetry Book of the Year Award 2020-2021.

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