Do You See?

INTO THE MIGRANT CITY; And Kolkata read-meet-launch

Writers Workshop published my poetry collection INTO THE MIGRANT CITY. Advance copies were handed over, hurrah. The cover is the hallmark of WW’s design. But the coolest thing is that WW has printed the book cover in 5 different colors. Wow, rainbow covers for a rainbow world. I so love it. See this photo (one color missing) —


Eminent poet Keki Daruwalla wrote a foreword to ITMC. Excerpt:

Her poems wander from border to border city, each of which ‘carves’ on her neck ‘a scythe of words’. The reader is peregrinating with her. And she gets the sounds unerringly right, the night train’s “Ballistic flow of low moan, grinding” onwards. At another place she talks of the ‘local train’s segmented grace.’ Her eyes and ears are both sharp, and the landscapes open out: ‘My window is a sleepy acre that rolls over parking lots.’


Like a good poet and geographer she takes you to worlds where “owls sharpened/ our verbs of anxiety.” When she talks of poetry and language, the poem turns dark:


we are deep

inside a language

whose dialogues

rang in a darkness


Lastly, the reader moves not just from ‘slate-colored Seine to ‘the bay of shellfish’ or ‘Guernica’s town’, but one flows with her images – ‘the Brahmaputra flowing with its whale-body’, the inevitable if somewhat sorrow-tinted homecoming of the urban nomad.

Keki N. Daruwalla

Sudeep Sen, Elaine Terranova, Robert Bohm and Tabish Khair wrote blurbs for the book. Very nice words. Spurring me to think better. Write better.


Into the Migrant City was launched on Dec. 13 at Press Club, Kolkata. Here’s a pic and the album link:

book release - Copy

Before that, on Dec. 11, I went for a lecture on creative writing at University of Calcutta, College Street, invited by the Department of French Studies, thanks to Mohar Daschoudhuri, Asstt. Prof. in the department.


Kept thinking of our home in Guwahati, Assam. Sold off since long now. But remembrance is long living:

Evening Things


5 p.m. The trees invite blue china clouds

They forget the sun cannot light the lamp

5 p.m. You are drinking tea with honey

Inside a penumbra by the Radhachuda tree

You can wait, then bring the oil lamp out

Circumnavigate the non-existent tulaxi

The Namghar’s 5 p.m. silence will soon erupt

Its tranced kortaal dueting with the khol

5 p.m. You will know that time has struck

Gooseberry dreaming the shadow of a home.


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This entry was posted on December 20, 2013 by in Into the Migrant City, kolkata, Nabina Das, poetry.
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