Reliving Memories—Real And Imagined
Semeen Ali
EARTHENWARE: SIXTY POEMS/NAISHAPUR AND BABYLON: POEMS (2005-2017) by Anisur Rahman and Keki N. Daruwalla Rubric Publishing/Speaking Tiger, 2018, 83.111 pp., 200/299
July 2018, volume 42, No 7

My quietness has a man in it, he is transparent and he carries me quietly, like a gondola, through the streets.He has several likenesses, like stars and years, like numerals.

In Memory Of My Feelings—Frank O’Hara

Memory is a palimpsest—a reusable surface. Palimpsest by its definition is a page of writing or a page from a document that has been rubbed smooth in order to be used again for writing something else on it, except, that the traces of the original writing shows through. And that is what memory becomes for us—a rewriting over the years of the same incident. The versions keep changing, a colour added at a place and removed from someplace else. When one sits down to write down his or her memories in words, on paper, there are bound to be certain omissions of certain events, omission of words spoken, feelings expressed in its entirety at that moment in an attempt to capture that fleeting moment.

Anisur Rahman’s book of sixty poems, Earthenware, reveals to its readers the old world charm that Rahman has tried to capture in words. A world that no longer exists is invoked/revived through these poems. Be it a memory which is cloud like and smells of the lobaan that was carried from room to room as the poet looks back at the time of maghrib prayers:

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