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“Footprints” Review on Mihir Vatsa’s Blog; Cesare Pavese

I’m lucky in a way to make friends across continents, peoples and ages. Recently, I got acquainted  with a very talented and very young poet-writer-blogger. Mihir Vatsa. A Delhi University student, he’s an avid blogger (makes it a point to visit my posts and offer comments and advice) and emerging poet, having been published in some cool places. Always appreciative of the fact that he drops in to this blog quite regularly, I had two surprises he had in store for me lately.

He ordered my book Footprints in the Bajra, and read it immediately. It’s a small book anyway. Next, he wrote up a brief review, an “afterthought”, again almost immediately after reading the book. Posted it on his blog for the others to see. Read it HERE. Some folks asked me what my reaction was to his point that “bajra” or millet doesn’t grow in Bihar. I think it’s a small matter. Millet does grow in Bihar, several varieties. It’s not a major millet growing state, rather, up and coming, as per agriculture experts. Fiction always does its own thing, makes thousands of elephants fly in the sky (is that what Marquez had said?)! Following that logic, If “bajra” became a character or a leitmotif for readers of my book, so be it!

True, I’ve had some awesome reviews in mainstream newspapers/journals and websites for my book. But an act of kindness always counts. From young writer friends, it means a lot. Makes me feel connected. We have this joke that I’m his virtual Creative Writing teacher! We do discuss poetry on other forums.

***

Speaking of poetry, what do we read tonight? It’s Friday, but quiet in Stirling. I came back early from my office to send some poems of mine to a Rutgers poet-friend who wants to read them (or one) at the 2012 MFA Graduation reading this evening. What an honor again. My own mood is that of questing; asking myself things one can know or not; about “other days … face of springtime” …, and that “we will suffer at daybreak.” Yes, I’m remembering Pavese, one of my most favorite European poets! So, we must read this:

The Cats Will Know

By Cesare Pavese

TRANSLATED BY GEOFFREY BROCK

Rain will fall again
on your smooth pavement,
a light rain like
a breath or a step.
The breeze and the dawn
will flourish again
when you return,
as if beneath your step.
Between flowers and sills
the cats will know.
*
There will be other days,
there will be other voices.
You will smile alone.
The cats will know.
You will hear words
old and spent and useless
like costumes left over
from yesterday’s parties.
*
You too will make gestures.
You’ll answer with words—
face of springtime,
you too will make gestures.
*
The cats will know,
face of springtime;
and the light rain
and the hyacinth dawn
that wrench the heart of him
who hopes no more for you—
they are the sad smile
you smile by yourself.
*
There will be other days,
other voices and renewals.
Face of springtime,
we will suffer at daybreak.

Cesare Pavese: 1908–1950

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4 comments on ““Footprints” Review on Mihir Vatsa’s Blog; Cesare Pavese

  1. Mihir Vatsa
    May 11, 2012

    Well, just for the record, I’ve got two cats in my room on the roof. Really bad cats. One of them even roars at 2.20 am onward every night. 😐

    Thanks for featuring my review on your site, ND. Means a lot. 🙂

  2. Do You See
    May 11, 2012

    Hey, it’s my pleasure! Thanks for reading and writing.

    Cats on Delhi summer’s hot tin roof? Oh good, Write a poem about them, perhaps the roaring will stop 🙂

    Did you get good visits to your blog after I cross posted it on my fb page? And what’s your blog design called? It’s very smart. I’d like something like that. Tell me.

    • Mihir Vatsa
      May 11, 2012

      Haha, yes. 127 hits till now. 39 FB shares. 48 views on the ‘Footprints’ post. 1004 comments in total now. I love it! 🙂

      The theme on my blog is brand new. Was released today itself and is called Oxygen. Though there is one glitch I haven’t been able to resolve- featured slider- but I love this theme even without it. Try it. 😀

  3. Do You See
    May 11, 2012

    Good for ya, kid! Keep that blog going…

    Yes, will like to try Oxygen. I think it’s a visually attractive design. Although I like this one of mine too, simple and straightforward.

    Thanks!

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