Translated by Anita Gopalan.
In MEMORY OF NOW, every poem is stylistically different, differently new, a memory made with past, made with now, made with Self, Other and Heart. The unhurried lyricism has emotional resonances and an aesthetic tension in socio-ritual poems, memories of the poet’s years of privation.
It exhibits Buddhist stream of consciousness and mythic memories of kinship and separation. It turns to the motif of poetic duet with international filmmakers, intertextual and as incoherent as complete, inviting the reader to rather watch the poems. Indirect elegy for love, longing, loss, the scent of wait, restlessness of the centuries old soul, the “senile and old” trope raising questions about the future, language and poet’s state, all have a narrative paradoxical calm and an alien quality that accentuates the incoherence and brokenness.
The traditional cultural heat, the engagement with world poetry and cinema, and the poet’s force of individuality create a linguistic polyphony that defines a unique poetic voice in this work.
Writing for The Asian Age, the eminent English poet Sudeep Sen said, “Geet Chaturvedi already enjoys a wide reputation as being one of the foremost contemporary Hindi poets. But with the publication of The Memory of Now (Anomalous Press) in the United States, his poetry will reach a much wider audience, as it deserves to. The translations from Hindi into English by Anita Gopalan are of a high calibre. In fact, had one not known that he originally wrote in Hindi, one would think that he is a fine English language poet. Chaturvedi has a sharp cinematic eye that is at the same time extrovertedly public and subtly private.”
Geetu Vaid wrote for The Tribune, “Geet Chaturvedi is not only an acclaimed contemporary Hindi poet, but also one with a penchant for experimentation. His pen weaves verse at multiple levels, offering philosophical insights and playful visual imagery to the reader. Anita Gopalan’s translation keeps the essence of the poet alive.”