A Potpourri of Poetry Collections
Semeen Ali
MAN WITHOUT A NAVE/COSMOPOLITICIAN/WHEN SEEING IS BELIEVING: POETRY IN IMAGES/A DINNER PARTY IN THE HOME COUNTIES by Hemant Divate/Mustansir Dalvi/Bina Sarkar Ellias/Reshma Ruia Poetrywala/Mapin Publishing/Skylark Publications, UK, 2018.19, 205 pp., 400
July 2020, volume 44, No 7

A whole line whose meaning is backed by no experience may crash upon me.

The temporalities of one’s life are divided into past, present and the future. In living towards one’s future, there is always the far end that remains at the back of one’s mind—death. Now in everyday living, the conscious mind refutes this theory and tries to suppress this idea but it is in literature, in poetry that this idea forms the crux of the genre. The melancholia that surrounds us and cannot be brushed away is celebrated and it finds a place in this book by Hemant Divate.

In my mind, I am made uneasy

By my own femininity, inside and outside me.

It’s a similar incomplete, unclear

And upsetting relationship I maintain with every city.


It is not only the poems that are filled with a painful impression of time standing still but even the titles for each poem have been carefully thought over. There aren’t many poetry books that I have come across that invest so much time on titles. The titles here are one-liner poems in themselves. ‘What is to Be Done About the Axe Embedded in the Mind?’3 And another one, ‘The Average Temperature of a Word Required For It to Be Used in a Line of Poetry’.

Continue reading this review