19 October, 2020

Holding An Earthy, Lilting Tune

Shorn of angst and abstraction, Dash immerses himself in the world around him

Holding An Earthy, Lilting Tune

Just because someone brings out his debut collection of poems at the ripe age of 62 doesn’t mean that he is a novice. All these years Manu Dash has been busy publishing other poets and writers. Four decades of passion for poetry has issued forth in A Brief History of Silence. Manu dons many hats: story-tel­ler, anthologist, editor, publisher, litfest curator. But essentially he’s a poet, imbued with a typical Odia coyness that underplays his poetic instincts. Reading Manu’s poems, one feels an eerie silence which is no less eloquent in that those voices echo within one’s soul. One has to attune oneself to the peculiar rhythm of the alphabet of sil­ence: “In the mountain curve, / A river was busy composing music”.

He puts poetry to good use as an antidote to our collective sense of guilt, helplessness and despair. His tone is contemplative, laced with a tinge of fatalistic resignation: “History sits like an albatross /around the neck. /The wind is the lone carrier of songs /of the dead”. In such tumultuous...



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