Saturday, February 21, 2009

Random Thoughts (18 Jan: 21 Feb 2009)

BIG NEWS: My first full length collection of English poems, "Saga of a Crumpled Piece of Paper" accepted by Writers Workshop, Calcutta. To be published in 2009.

Writers Workshop, Calcutta is an example of how one man's passion for poetry can sustain generations of poets and readers. Prof. P. Lal who has published new and unknown writers like me for last fifty years is an institution in himself. Remarkably, Vikram Seth, Agha Shahid Ali, Meena Alexander, Pritish Nandy, Chitra Banerjee Divakurni, Ramanujan, and so on. Prof. P. Lal is translating all of Mahabharata, which is another enterprise indicative of his devotion to the tradition and recreation of poetry.

On books I recently read:
The verses in Li-Young Lee's Rose: He writes incredibly well about father-son relationship, love and loss.
I was stumped by Guy de Maupassant's Pierre et Jean... a novella par excellence.
Balzac's Pere Goirot was entertaining through its portrayal of society, its follies and failings.
Reading The Sound and The Fury now. (Sorry Faulkner uncle, your sound and fury infuriates me & I don't like to hear it praised...)

I attended an awesome recital at Boston University, that featured Charles Simic and Robert Pinsky. I have often admired poems by Simic, especially the ones that are about his memories of his childhood or youth. One of things Simic mentioned about a poem is worth repeating to any writer or poet. He said that the first few stanzas were written in 1970s and it took him few decades to realize how the poem must end.

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