Do You See?

“I want a good time today”; Indians write English Poetry, not d-u-h; Go MARY KOM!!!

So it looks like these days posts happen only when I can breathe a bit better and when something to report piles up. What have I been doing? Multiple things of which not all can be elaborated upon here. Some very close friends have asked me if that choice is out of stigma, superstition or secretiveness. I say, none of the above. I am not here to write a <fifty shades of grey or blue>! And really close friends know who I am, what I am in reality. No sweat there.

Besides, “I want a good time today”!

Poetry first then? And you can listen to it being read as well by clicking on the poet’s name and following the poetry link on that page.

“a song in the front yard” BY GWENDOLYN BROOKS

I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.
I want a peek at the back
Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
A girl gets sick of a rose.
I want to go in the back yard now
And maybe down the alley,
To where the charity children play.
I want a good time today.


They do some wonderful things.
They have some wonderful fun.
My mother sneers, but I say it’s fine
How they don’t have to go in at quarter to nine.
My mother, she tells me that Johnnie Mae
Will grow up to be a bad woman.
That George’ll be taken to Jail soon or late
(On account of last winter he sold our back gate).
But I say it’s fine. Honest, I do.
And I’d like to be a bad woman, too,
And wear the brave stockings of night-black lace
And strut down the streets with paint on my face.


(Gwendolyn Brooks, “a song in the front yard” from Selected Poems. Copyright © 1963 by Gwendolyn Brooks. Reprinted with the permission of the Estate of Gwendolyn Brooks)


My sixth article on Prairie Schooner journal (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is about post-50s Indian poets’ works in a new HarperCollins anthology. In English of course, duh!

Find it HERE.

Read an excerpt:

“As I read new poets, old ones, as well as a few personal friends in this collection, it does appear to me that the book assumes life in a line from one of its best-known Diaspora writers while remaining a poetry collection of Indian writers. The work represented in this publication is literally Dabydeen’s “roti”–it gets stretched and rolled and cooked over an assertive flame. It conforms to Mark Strand’s quote from “Eating Poetry” in Sudeep Sen’s introductory essay to the book. It has the temerity to be the main course, to not get served anymore as a side dish, prefixed or suffixed by “Indian English” and the like with any (pre)text.


Photos are good for the eyes. No, no philosopher has said it. Punching is good for the soul. Damn, no one said that too. I mean why the bazooka would one eulogize punching, as in socking? Well, I have my reasons to say so. Not because this feisty woman will win an Olympics medal. But because she is gritty as hell and doesn’t give two hoots to your pretty-ass ways. Go MARY KOM!

And dear Amitabh Bacchhan aka Big B of Bollywood, no, she is NOT from Assam, but from Manipur. That jeweled teardrop of a lovely state India has forgotten.


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This entry was posted on August 8, 2012 by in Gwendolyn Brooks, manipur, Mary Kom, Nabina Das, poetry.
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