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’.
There is a feeling of stagnation; of looking at the world which is constantly in a flux and it fills one with a feeling of deceleration. As if everything has a purpose but us. The reader is transported through myriad experiences and each of them echoes with this preoccupation. Finely tuned to the way the world works, Divate does not mince words when he calls a spade a spade.
You have taken away an entire language
And chewed it down to a cud.
We will consume an entire language all by ourselves….
Language—the identifier of one’s self—finds itself disrupted; torn and questioned as one moves from one poem to another:
The same boy, who spoke with his own friends later,
Self –conscious of his obviously ghati tongue,
What happened to his language?…