Archive for February, 2015

Requiem for a Friend by Leonard Dabydeen

February 25, 2015

Requiem for a Friend
(Albert Budhoo, former GAWU President – Guyana)

Wedding Pic

In the deep crevices
Of the mind
Where pleasure and pain
Subside but cannot hide,
His was a fathomable ride
To query , seek, or find;
Every quest a mortal combat
For assurance of the child,
Of a friend,
Of a comrade,
No matter circumstances
Inscribed or subscribed
And with pleasant smile;
And so to bow in silence
And gesture in affinity
Wishing him this abiding farewell,
Is only to let his soul
Go places where man
Cannot go alone without grace.

From the Biography of an Unknown Woman by Indira Babbellapati

February 21, 2015

From the Biography of an Unknown Woman - CopyBook Review By Leonard Dabydeen

This collection of poems, From the Biography of an Unknown Woman, by Professor Indira Babbellapati is unequivocally not about feminism, but a colossal attempt to bring to the fore essential qualities and charismatic vignettes of being a woman. The good, bad and indifferent ingredients that make up the challenges that portray a woman’s self in motherhood, in being a sister, a care-giver, a lover and a friend, even sometimes an ingrate and a rued outcast to hide a family’s pride or prejudice – all pool inside the shrouded woman ( as the book cover simply portrays). The woman inside each individual is often times unknown, but is captured richly in the imagination, emotions, and day-to-day experiences of the author for over a decade. Now the moment has arrived, and Indira excitedly creates this anthology for us to revel over this unknown woman. She obligingly let us deep inside the hopes and fears and despairs that make this blessed human being gifted to bring forth a new-born to view our world. In one of her earlier poems, she writes:
Like her appearance
Her language too is
Absolutely plain and simple
Her much weathered heart
She always wears on her sleeve
With no latches or locks
Her smile knows no guile
She knows not moves
Nor counter moves
She moves with those
Who make her move…
Sometimes in her wonderment of wanting to be herself and no one else, this unknown woman is masterly captured by Indira in this poem (written almost 5 years ago):
Some stray memories sweet and bitter
Simply struggled like a flickering candle
Placed on the window sill

In the distant night is heard
Painful whining of dogs
As she struggled to close
The window against the blowing wind …
The unknown woman is truly phenomenal. In the great imagination and vision of one of America’s greatest poets, Maya Angelou:
/it’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman/
Indira Babbellapati has vehemently underscored this affect of the unknown woman in this book. She writes:
‘How everything in life seems
As if a moment ago,
My life is a tale written on water…! ‘
Indira Babbellapati is a Professor of English at Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India, in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. She is a prolific translator of literary works from Telugu to English, including Night of Nectar and a host of anthologized works in Roots and Wings, Heaven , Suvarnarekha and Persona. She is also the author of poetry books that include Vignettes of the Sea and echo. In paperback, From the Biography of an Unknown Woman is 258 pages, divided into four sections. The book is dedicated “to all women of the world…”; written in English: ISBN -10 1482844252.