The book, titled Singing in the Dark is an international anthology of poems which include works by over a hundred poets from across six continents written in 20 languages. Edited by eminent poet K Satchidanandan and scholar-author Nishi Chawla, the book will be released later this year, announced publishing house Penguin Random House.
The poetic record of these rather strange times include contributions by Vijay Seshadri, Grace Cavalieri, Arundhati Subramaniam, George Szirtes, Chandrakant Patil, Anamika, Francis Combes, Rafael Soler, Jerry Pinto and Ashok Vajpayee.
“This anthology had a humble beginning with a few poets from the US and India but gradually evolved into an intercontinental collection of poetic responses to the diverse aspects of the pandemic.
“The moods vary from quiet contemplation and choking anguish to suppressed rage and careful celebration. Consisting of poems of recall, experience and dream, this book has evolved into a virtual aesthetic archive of these strange times for generations to come,” said Satchidanandan.
According to the publisher, the poems capture the anxiety and agitation of isolation, the unparalleled joys of witnessing the revival of nature, the cruel realities of an inequitable world, besides reflecting on the impermanence of life.
Commenting on the book, Elizabeth Kuruvilla, executive editor, Ebury Publishing & Vintage Publishing (PRHI), who commissioned the book, said “Singing in the Dark is a powerful poetic testimony to this moment and will be read by generations to come”.
“No country, be it big or small, has been spared the fear of the annihilation of a vast number of its population by a strangely beautiful-looking virus… As we cling to life and try to recreate a sense of normality, we swing between moments of anxiety, creativity, loneliness and warm fellowship. It is only poetry that we can turn to in order to excavate the profound imprint that this new world will leave on our minds,” she added.
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