The Bisected Self
Pramila Venkateswaran
Beyond The Chameleon's Skill by Darius Cooper ., 2015, 98 pp., 150
September 2015, volume 39, No 9

Darius Cooper’s poems bear the influences of the revolutionaries in Indian poetry written in English; one can hear Nissim Ezekiel, Saleem Peeradina, Kamala Das, and Arun Kolatkar, as well as some of the bards from the West, like T.S. Eliot and Allen Ginsberg, establishing him as a poet who embraces the influences from contemporaries and yet places his unique stamp, despite his humble disclaimer, ‘I am not a poet’. Irony, realism, and irreverence, the hallmarks of modern poetry, underpin Cooper’s lines. Storytelling is his forte and he mines it in his poetry, so we feel we are reading a novel with multiple characters and settings. His keen attention to detail, dialogue, observation of character, and interaction between people, which are elements of fiction, become deft in his hand in crafting poetry.

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