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>Open Space-HarperCollins-India Poetry Contest 08- 2nd Place for my "Narrative Limits"

>I stumbled upon this the other day, having forgotten all about it:

“Announcing the winners of the Open Space–HarperCollins-India Poetry Contest 2008 (On the theme of ‘Borders’):

Roxanne Hoffman, editor of Poets Wear Prada press and the blog Flor del Concreto has been very kind to post this on Flor: “Nabina Das has won 2nd place in an all-India poetry contest organized by HarperCollins-India and Open Space-India in November 2008 on the theme of BORDERS. Among the judges were veteran poet Keki Daruwalla, HarperCollins India editor VK Karthika and writer Priya Surukkai Chhabria. Read Das’s winning entry “Narrative Limits” at Open Space

So go there and read …

Well, I am also pasting the poem below if laziness is your virtue!


He was holding baby-food cartons rotten eggs ill gotten perhaps and soggy scraps
Running from a plum-dark night into what seemed starkly bright starlight or searchlight
Flying with the power of bullets in his back horse powered from menacing police guns.
He surely said truthfully he had a starving child, but he looked like an enemy, he did.

She was scared plumbed with interrogation, the tongue numb from an untranslatable fear
Skin shallow like swamps she jumped. Rising vapour or human crumb her hair or breasts.
Take away my hemp clothes, she pleaded, my sentimental nesting flowers but don’t
Take away my books my looks no different from you in your cities of rapturous life.

They (drove trucks, laboured, choked on dust, drank spit, came trudging here humanlike
With cherries and berries of sweat to sweeten the world, also in anger or merriment cried,
Crossed creeks, counted reluctant tax money much like you or me and with care wiped
Mud from germinal faces and hands) were sent back across the nettled fence, embattled.

They held curdled milk beans dying seeds torn clothes our discarded marginal materials
Their faces like myth raked up from the bottom of our narrative limits of scatter and filth
Nametag dog-leash passport license branded on skin sizzling with fried-fish tan or tear
Standing at the razor lines that distance them because of the way they walk the streets.

Image from the Internet


8 comments on “>Open Space-HarperCollins-India Poetry Contest 08- 2nd Place for my "Narrative Limits"

  1. gulnaz
    April 6, 2009

    >bravo!!! hits you hard!! excellent! first prize stuff!

  2. fleuve-souterrain
    April 6, 2009

    >Thank you! I’m sure I wrote it after I listened to a rightwing rant… First prize? Yeah, I wish…! Nah, something else nice will always happen 🙂

  3. Anonymous
    April 6, 2009

    >Like this.. very rich imagery.christina brooks

  4. tikulicious
    April 7, 2009

    >Left me speechless for some time and numb. something I would have loved to write. I feel blessed that I have friends who have sensitive souls and an eye to see beyond what usually is. lovely stuff. strange that our best creations come out from the human miseries, saddest thoughts and pains of everyday struggle to live one more. love you.

  5. fleuve-souterrain
    April 7, 2009

    >Chris, thank you!Tiku, your comments help and encourage me. I know you are a very good writer too and that’s why you can see what I am digging away with words here 🙂 And yes, best creations are from miseries, pain, death and dirt… because we tend to live in denial about them!

  6. sudeep
    August 17, 2009

    >liked you choice of diction and way you sustained the central image.

  7. Tim Buck
    December 9, 2009

    >Amazing how inspiration creates its form. This would not have worked nearly so well had it been presented in a less-fractured shape. Here, we have a brutal kaleidoscope, twisting from brittle scene to brittle scene. Human beings become brutes when they lord it over the desperate. Borders are a material manifestation of coiled, entitled evil.

  8. shreya
    March 18, 2011

    >amazing poem… How old r u? I do wanna become like u one day..

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