A Breakfast Of Cereals And Denials
Lakshmi Kannan
HESITANT LIGHT: POEMS by Jayanta Mahapatra Authors Press, New Delhi, 2017, 104 pp., 250
April 2017, volume 41, No 4

Hesitant Light is the latest collection of poems by the renowned poet Jayanta Mahapatra who has read his poetry across the country and around the world in various international poetry festivals. His poems find their rightful place in every globally distinguished journal. The overseas editions of his collections of poems include A Rain of Rites (Georgia, USA, 1976), Relationship (Greenfield, USA, 1980), Life Signs (Oxford, 1983) and A Whiteness of Bone (Viking, 1992). Authors Press published his previous collection The Lie of Dawns in 2009.

The blurb says the poet has spent almost his entire life in the thousand-year-old city of Cuttack. One can belong, and yet not quite belong. Despite its familiarity, a city we’ve lived in all our lives, can also make us feel alienated. Mahapatra catches the stillness of his city in which nothing happens in the poem ironically titled ‘Happenings’. ‘In a town like mine/a warm March morning by the river/could simply look at itself,/all alone, with nowhere to go/with the koel’s maddening calls’. There are two city poems.

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