Tag Archives: poet

Poetry: Tiananmen Square Tank Man by Dilantha Gunawardana

The bucket list for 
Courage appears like this:

Study the maps and floor plans,

Where history will be created and recreated,

The Tiananmen Squares of tomorrow,

Where you will stand in front

Of a juggernaut. Think with freedom;

That’s the only certified way you will

Not be ignorance’s poster child or

The defeated recluse.

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Book Excerpt: The Alphabets of Latin America- A Carnival of Poems by Abhay K.

A preview from The Alphabets of Latin America: A Carnival of Poems by Abhay K. (Bloomsbury, 138 pages, ISBN 9789389867909, Paperback)

The Alphabets of Latin America is collection of poems by poet-diplomat Abhay K. written during his travels across Latin America between 2016-2019. Organized alphabetically from A-Z,it takes you on a roller coaster ride to one of the most culturally and geographically fascinating continents known for its legendary Maya and Inca civilizations, sizzling Samba and Tango, the world’s biggest carnivals, labyrinths of Borges, magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, great poetry of Ruben Dario, Pablo Neruda , Gabriela Mistral, Cesare Vallejo, Octavio Paz, fascinating art of Frida Kahlo and Fernando Botero, among others.

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The Eternal Song of Tagore… A Tribute

On May 7 th, 1861, was born a man who left an indelible mark in the world of literature, philosophy, music, education and on the  lives of many people. He wrote the national anthem for at least two countries, India and Bangladesh, and influenced the writer of the national anthem of a third country, Sri Lanka.

Rabindranath Tagore, the first non- European Nobel prize winner, was a remarkable man. Despite having his songs picked for national anthems and providing inspiration to other national anthem writers, he was critical of a system that drew borders among men and created hatred or intolerance. He withdrew from the politics of nationalism. He wrote: “…my conviction (is) that my countrymen will gain truly their India by fighting against that education which teaches them that a country is greater than the ideals of humanity.”

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Book Review: Vital Possessions by Marc Nair

Reviewed By Mitali Chakravarty

 

IMG_0359

 

Title: Vital Possessions

Author: Marc Nair

Publisher: Ethos books, Singapore

 

Vital Possessions is a collection of poems, haikus, monologues and photographs by award winning Singaporean poet and photographer Marc Nair. The content reflects the tussle between city life and nature.

Marc Nair takes us on a journey through ASEAN countries — Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and of course Singapore. He finds nature pushing its way through the crevices of city life. In one of his haikus, accompanied by a photograph of a worn out wall with grass growing out of the gaps, he writes,

“Nature never fails

to push against the grain

of forgotten cities.”

When I see the picture and read the lines, what springs to my mind is the St Paul’s church in Malacca, built in 1521, a forgotten church of a bygone era. The monument has vegetation growing out of crevices, which many old buildings would have. However, a sense unique hopefulness is brought to the fore by Marc Nair’s brevity of words to create a picture perfect perspective. Read more

Poetry: Mosaic and Illusions by Minal Sarosh

Mosaic and Illusions by Minal Sarosh

Minal Sarosh

Minal Sarosh is an Indian English poet and novelist. Her first poetry book ‘Mitosis and Other Poems’, was published by Writers Workshop (1992), Kolkata. Her first novel, ‘Soil for my Roots’ was published by Lifi Publications, New Delhi, 2015.

She has won awards at the All India Poetry Competition 2005, of The Poetry Society (India) Delhi (Commendation Prize); Creative Writing Competition 2006 of Unisun Publications, Bangalore (Third Prize); SMS Poetry Competition 2007 Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai (Third Prize); Unisun Reliance TimeOut Book Club Awards 2008-09 (Special Mention); The Akita International University President’s Award (First Prize).

Her poems have been published in esteemed anthologies like These My Words – The Penguin Book of Indian Poetry (2012) Edited by Eunice de Souza and Melanie Silgardo; The Grand Indian Express, Poets’ Travelogue edited by Anand Kumar, Naad Anunaad, anthology of contemporary world haiku, Editor-in-Chief Kala Ramesh; Soul Feathers published by Indigo Dreams, U.K. and EquiVerseSpace – A Sound Home in Words, Chief Editor, Smeetha Bhoumik.

Minal lives in Ahmedabad, India.

Poetry: Proscenium and Last Yarn by Iain Lim Jun Rui

Proscenium and Last Yarn by Iain Lim Jun Rui

Iain Lim

Iain Lim Jun Rui an aspiring poet and filmmaker. A winner of the Love Poetry Competition and finalist in the National Poetry Competition 2017 organised by Poetry Festival Singapore, his poetry is published in ASINGBOL AnthologyEunoia Review and Twin Cities among others. His first documentary short is a finalist at Singapore Heritage Short Film Competition 2017.

Book review: Shillong Times – A Story of Friendship and Fear by Nilanjan P. Choudhury

Reviewed by Ananya S. Guha

Shillong Times

Title: Shillong Times: A Story of Friendship and Fear
Author: Nilanjan P. Choudhury
Publisher: Speaking Tiger (2018)
Pages: 237

Nilanjan Choudhury’s novel Shillong Times, as the subtitle suggests, is a ‘story of friendship and fear’. Friendship’s association with ‘fear’, then, seems to be a thematic focus.

Set against the backdrop of Shillong in the volatile times of the 1980s, the novel is an addition to what is now turning out to be a fairly long list of fiction, including short stories which revolve around this town. Anjum Hasan’s Lunatic in My Head, Siddartha Deb’s The Point of Return and Janice Pariat’s Boats on Land come readily to mind.

Choudhury, however, builds a more conscious landscape than the others to take us to the world of his fourteen year old protagonist Debojit Dutta, who in Blakeian terms leaves his ‘innocence’ behind to ‘experience’ his new found world, thanks to his friendship with two other teenagers, Clint Eastwood Lyngdoh and the empathetic Audrey Pariat. It is the former who introduces Debojit Dutta, when they meet in mathematics tuition classes, to the world of Pink Floyd and the out-of-bounds restaurant Kalsang.

I mentioned the volatile times of the eighties that forms the backdrop of the novel. Choudhury poignantly interfuses community relations (tribal and non tribal, the Bengali superiority syndrome, the Sylheti speaking Bengalis and the Calcutta Bengalis, etc.) with personal ones. Yet these personal friendships are among teenagers, which their adult counterparts or forebears seem to look askance at. Debojit’s mother reprimands him for this, so does his school teacher (lampooned effectively) Mr. Chakravarty. Clint’s father refuses to help in getting the trading licence of Debojit’s father renewed, although he saves him in a potentially violent squabble.

As ethnic tensions rise in the town of Shillong, resulting also in conflict of relations between Debojit and Clint (thanks also to the meddlesome Mr. Chakravarty), Debojit’s parents contemplate shifting to Calcutta and remove him to a school in Calcutta despite his protestations. Debojit also suffers taunts from his locality members for befriending a tribal, a Khasi. All this while, the petite Audrey plays a quiet mediating role, playing across the broken friendship of Debojit and Clint and building bridges.

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