Desire and Design

The title of this post is taken from a review (in Biblio, by Jane Bhandari) of the book of poems by Sudeep Sen, Distracted Geographies: An Archipelago of Intent that was published a few years ago, jointly by Indialog in Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi, Wings Press, and Peepal Tree.

Sudeep Sen is widely praised. And some of the encomium finds its way to his homepage. The Poetry Review, for instance, finds him "not afraid to experiment with new and traditional forms and subjects for poetry ... (His) poems display a fine eye for detail and a deft use of images." So KISS: AN HAIKU (I think I would have preferred A Haiku) goes

a languorous kiss
the faintest smell of ocean
salt lipped breeze, pleading

Distracted Geographies is "about the politics of body and text, mask and posture, desire and distraction, disease and health—the relationship between indoor and outdoor, island and mainland, centre and periphery—and the texture that dictates topography and cartography.

The book contends boldly with intimate issues of love, loss, illness, passion, and sex. Even though the locale is largely set in various parts of Scotland, it could ostensibly be anywhere that is imaginatively similar. Using both a minimalist and cinematic form, the scenes shift, dissolve, inter-cut, flashback, and fast-forward to provide a narrative that is at the same time linear and oblique, classical and avant-garde.

The form and structure of the piece is inspired both by the architecture of the human body, and the shape of Pablo Neruda’s Odes that reflect the long-thin shape of Chile. Sections and sub-sections within the narrative join together like synapses between bone and bone; and the titles act as translucent markers or breath pauses, not separators."

This book of poems has been called eminently re-readable... In our Poetry Section, 206 pages, Rs 200, ISBN: 81-87981-67-9