nabinadas13

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>When Langston Hughes Visited My Home

>Time for posting the second poem from the Guntur National Poetry Festival Anthology. It arrived in mail just this afternoon. They call it “A Posy of Poesy“. Well, I don’t dig the title, but it’s a decently produced anthology, nicely printed on good paper and accommodates several poets from all corners of India. Nagasuseela and Gopichand, the organizers of the fest, are also the editors and they’ve done a good job.

I was invited to come down to Guntur and read my work with several other poets from different corners of India, but couldn’t do that owing to a lot mixed up things going on in my world right then. Would have been so exciting. But I am excited to learn from the editors and newspaper coverage that the festival was a success.

I’m still flipping through the collection and am yet to sample some engaging writing. Meanwhile, I post my second poem from that collection. You remember reading my other poem in the book here: “Finding Foremothers“. Now this is:

“When Langston Hughes Visited My Home”

The name was strange and the book
Was shiny dark
Thin, freckled jacket, like my angry
Pre-teen face
On the table

The title kept calling in a
Jingle-jangle Assamese refrain
I kept saying it out loud:
“Hey Xurjo Uthi Aha”!

Why it exhorted the sun to rise
Accept the challenge of a new
Dream that flamed
Brighter and purer
And why the smaller typeface said:
Poems by a dark-limbed poet, a collection,
I had no idea then

Dark limbs were not seen
On our book covers
Only limbs were, but then
Krishna is just not a word
For a god, it dawned on me
But skins and cheeks and
Strong arms of poetic force
On my table

Also the end of crowing nights
When a poet came home
Inside the covers of a book, smiling:
“That day is past!”

Postscript: This poem generated an interesting discussion among my friends. My friend and editor of Mnemosyne poetry blog Jen Pezzo-Kerowyn Rose made a very pertinent observation. Read “Discussion Generated on My Poem ‘Langston…’: Writing about Skin Color“. Tell me what your thoughts are!

Image from the Internet: Langston Hughes

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8 comments on “>When Langston Hughes Visited My Home

  1. Tim Buck
    July 24, 2009

    >What a wonderful memory-made-art, Nabina! An early moment when things got settled, when inspiration spirited into the room and into consciousness…when the deal got done…when you came home to you. Vision enhanced by seeing into another's clear, sensitive, ethical eyes.Of course, sometimes my readings go off on their own, perhaps zig-zagging far away from a poem's reality; what can I say?…that's just me, and I'm too old for synapse re-wiring. 🙂

  2. Runechris
    July 24, 2009

    >Wow.. I've ben away from your blog to long Nabina… every time I do venture over here I am blown away..How beautiful…

  3. Kerowyn Rose
    July 24, 2009

    >Hi Nabina, I love this poem. It is such a contrast to the way many american's view skin color, even today. The title is perfect. My favorite stanza is the first one. I like the imagery. What an artfully crafted piece of work. 🙂

  4. priti aisola
    July 25, 2009

    >I really enjoyed the first stanza. You have a singular way of breathing new life into certain life moments. Continue to surprise us with your work.

  5. Violetwrites
    July 29, 2009

    >hmm viva la differencelove colorno buts about it…

  6. Michael and/or Rachel
    August 7, 2009

    >This is great!

  7. Rhett
    August 29, 2009

    >I liked it. I liked the 1st stanza. For the rest I think that the poem struggled to break free and say something it could and just settled in its own prison. (Perhaps rhythm would have given it flight.

  8. Rhett
    August 29, 2009

    >I liked it. I liked the 1st stanza. For the rest I think that the poem struggled to break free and say something it could and just settled in its own prison. (erhaps rhythm would have given it flight.

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