A rare sense for texture

A new poet, and an unusual one at that, is Vivek Sharma. After all, how many people combine a passion for polymer physics with poetry?

His first book, Saga of a crumpled piece of paper has, as its title poem

I was a crumpled piece of paper
till your curiosity unfurled me;
An excited child in you ironed away
my wrinkled and discarded past
and laughed at what I bore boldly
written in her hand, in pencil
in dark arches, colons, commas,
with a full stop.

You laughed till your tears
made maps over me
and then you smiled and erased away
her words, her punctuations
and took crayons to wax me with color.
Fascinated by the impact of your hands,
you embellished me,
revived me and then artfully
sold me away.

Currently a post-doctoral research associate in Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sharma writes poetry and prose in Hindi and English. He studied at the IIT Delhi, then went to the US, to Georgia Tech where he did a Ph D... His poetry has appeared in Atlanta Review, Poetry, Bateau, The Cortland Review, Kartika Review, and has been nominated for a Pushcart award...

Thomas Lux has been an important champion for and mentor of Vivek Sharma. In his introduction to the volume of poetry, Lux writes: About his poetry, specifically, I’m going to be short but incisive: he is a gifted young poet with a rare sense for the texture of language, he knows how to use language in such a way that it helps the reader explain him/herself to him/herself. His poems provide for me “a momentary stay against confusion” as Mr. Frost defined poetry. He’s a lyric poet with a narrative streak... He is a member of the tribe, albeit scattered all over the planet, of poets. He is, and will be, one of the voices the future of poetry needs to hear.

Reading some of this reminded me of a poem by Agha Shahid Ali that I had read many many years ago...


The moon did not become the sun.
It just fell on the desert
in great sheets, reams
of silver handmade by you.

The night is your cottage industry now,
the day is your brisk emporium.
The world is full of paper.
Write to me.

In our Poetry section, in hardcover, 84 pages. Rs 200, inclusive of postage in India, and $20 elsewhere. ISBN: 9788181578518