Category > Poetry

Golden Treasury

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The Best of Quest, Laeeq Futehally, Achal Prabhala , Arshia Sattar , book reviewI started with an article by Professor P Lal, a rejoinder to Jyotirmoy Datta, on why he wrote in English, ‘We do not write in English because it is a pan-Indian language of the educated; we write because we cannot write as well in any other language’, revisiting the incisive words of the man who was the doyen of Indian Writing in English, or Indo Anglian literature. Then I went onto Khushwant Singh at his vigorous best writing about Delhi, in a collating of some of his columns. There was a piece about the notorious Sashtibrata, writing letters in English for Delhi’s shoeshine boys and turning up in rags at tatters at the Delhi offices of The Statesman.

And of course, there were the usual subjects, s review of Nirad C Chaudhuri’s Continent of Circe, an interview of Naipaul by Adrian Rowe-Evans, a review by Saleem Peeradina on Satyajit Ray’s films.

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From Hell with Love

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From Hell with love, Maria Papadopoulou, book reviewMaria Papadopoulou’s collections of twelve poems, “From Hell With Love”, addresses every aspect of love, from overwhelming joy to unbearable pain. Lies, innocence, pride and and the power of love all come under the spotlight and are described with succinct imagery. Although this book is just a few pages long, within it the whole gamut of emotions come pouring out.

The anthology opens with “Slave”, in which Papadopoulou describes her lover as ‘an uninvited guest’, while her soul is his slave.


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A Beautiful Ceremony

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Tonight, This Savage Rite   by  Kamala Das  , Nandy PritishThe cover’s a shock of candy colours, magenta and emerald, canary yellow, large bold font, hitting out at you almost savagely. Tonight and Savage shriek at you in more pink and green and then you read Tonight This Savage Rite and the cover’s mayhem seems to come together in a riot of love.

Welcome to the reissue of the love poems of Pritish Nandy and India’s famous candy coloured poetess Kamala Das who wept eros up and down her stanzas. Kamala Das ended her life veiling her colourful serendipity in black and changing her name – and with it her faith – to Suraiya, but her rants of passion live on.

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Clap Your Hands – Finger Rhymes

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Clap Your Hands: Finger Rhymes By Sarah Hayes, Illustrated by Toni Goffe, book reviewPoetry is a wonderful way to introduce young children to the idea of rhyme and rhythm. Poems can also incorporate counting and alphabet themes that help children to learn numbers and letters. Read aloud, children can be encouraged to join in as soon as they become familiar with the words. That’s something they are likely to do surprisingly quickly.

If you are looking for a collection of short rhymes, Clap Your Hands – Finger Rhymes by Sarah Hayes and Toni Goffe is an anthology of both modern and traditional rhymes, some to be read aloud and some that can be sung.

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Birthday Letters

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Birthday Letters By Ted Hughes, book reviewBirthday Letters is a collection of poetry by Ted Hughes that, with two exceptions, is addressed to his late wife Sylvia Plath who committed suicide in 1963. The book was first published in 1998 and contains poems that were written over the course of 25 years. Despite the intense enduring interest in Plath and her life, Hughes had always remained completely silent about her and frequently received much scorn from Plath admirers for having an affair when they were married and destroying the last part of her journals after her death, an act Hughes says he did to spare their children. Given the long silence by Hughes on Plath, Birthday Letters (which contains 88 poems) was therefore a very big deal when it was published and eagerly anticipated. ‘You are ten years dead,’ says Hughes in one of the first poems (Visit). ‘It is only a story. Your story. My story.’


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