The 56-page book contains magic.
Like magic, it transforms – the recipient's consciousness; the everyday realities and words through art.
Poem Continuous – competently translated by the dental surgeon-cum-star poet Kiriti Sengupta and stunningly produced by Inner Child Press USA – introduces Bengal great, Bibhas Roy Chowdhury, to poetry-loving public to the discerning English-speaking world. A remarkable collaboration between two poets and Don Martin-led small press that boldly promotes such happening South-Asian writing in the States and elsewhere by spotlighting writers still not mainstream or heard in the West.
It is a different offering by an imaginative editor and publisher for the readers hungry for more.
What tumbles out of the red-tinged hard covers is a fast-flowing collection of poems with a different feel and texture, and a rich and variegated Bengal, both as a region and a cultural sensibility, as experienced internally by one of her current best poets. You are lifted directly into a collage of powerful moments, moods and landscapes by the deft poet – and equally talented poet/translator – and nothing remains same afterwards.
If already bored of the cliched poetry in English or its effeteness or increasing self-abosrption with a fragmentary self in a fractured world, sample this one coming straight from heart in cadence musical and staccato both. The poems will come alive and crackle in your hands like verbal crackers.
You will never forget the sensation thereafter.
Regional writings – much neglected, despite their variety and vitality and wealth – open up new vistas and newer ways of cognising the realities around us, and, thus, changing us in the process of reading-writing.
Kudos to Kiriti for doing a literary Columbus here! More such translations are needed.
(Bibhas Roy Chowdhury: Poem Continuous: Reincarnated expressions. Translated by Kiriti Sengupta. Inner Child Press (USA). 2014. ISBN: 13:978-0692233184. Price: INR; 130.)