Archive for May, 2016

Triveni Journal 2016

May 27, 2016



ISSN 0041-3135 RNI No. 25269

Chief Editor


Vol. 85 APR – JUN 2016 No. 2

TRIVENI (Estd: 1927)




page 15…


Leonard Dabydeen*

page 62…Book Reviews

Gender, Space and Creative Imagination: The Poetics and Politics of Women’s

Writing in India | Rekha | Primus Books. 2015 | x + 224pp, HB | ISBN: 978-93-

84082-44-4 | Rs 1,050/-

Indira Babbellapati Academic-Poet-Translator, Vizag

Book: Finding The Mother, H.H. Valmiki’s Sundara Kanda in English

Verse – English translation by Mahathi(Mydavolu V.S. Sathyanarayana). ISBN


Leonard Dabydeen, Ontario. Canada


Book Review: Nomadic Nights by Indira Babbellapati

May 22, 2016

Nomadic Nights, a book of poems by Indira Babbellapati (February, 2016)

Book Review: Leonard Dabydeen

An early twentieth century American writer/Naturalist, Henry Beston (1888-1968), best known for his authorship of The Outermost House (1928), and also known as one of the fathers of the modern environmental movement, once said:

                     Learn to reverence night and put away the vulgar fear of it, for, with

                     the banishment of night from the experience of man, there vanishes

                   as well a religious emotion, a poetic mood, which gives depth to the

                   adventure of humanity. (


It is with this heartland sacrosanct token of the night that we find here in this book, Nomadic Nights by Indira Babbellapati, a truly vast and embroidered, emotional thought-process            collection of poems, proffering “depth to the adventure of humanity”. Each of her 82 poems is cleverly written without a branded name-tag. There is deliberate purpose and intent in this writing formation. The poems are free-flowing. They juxtapose the conversations of the night with simplicity and imagery, and intuitively arouse the reader to keep turning page after page. Take a read at the first poem:

As if layers and layers

                 of enigmatic, silent night

                 inhabited an unknown space;

                 as if flakes of darkness

                 settled one over the other

                 into a mystic pattern

                 yesternight, in layers and flakes,

                 the night spread over

                my personal cosmos… (p. 7)


The tone is set. And in her own statement at the beginning, author Indira declares without inhibition, that this book, Nomadic Nights “can be treated as one long poem about night. A couple of poems are written in haiku/senryu and the rest is free verse”.

The conversational repertoire of the poems reflects immensely in tandem with Rabindranath Tagore”s Gitanjali:

               “The traveller has to knock at every alien door to come to his own,

                   and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the

                   innermost shrine”.(


This is how author Indira sees it:

That’s a night-secret

               I hid from myself (p.9)


Sometimes she sees the “vulgar fear” as in this poem:

Several tentacles

             of fear hang around

             like the hanging roots

           of a mighty banyan.

           The coiled drab darkness

           opens its womb

           out of habit once night befalls

           for the new inheritors

           of more guilt,

           more shame


           more fear.(p. 23)


Sometimes Indira is flustered:

         Night assumed

         the form of mosquitoes;

         wakeful stings! (p. 37)


And frantic at times, Indira brings the conversation to her innermost self:

           Insomnia chased

           the night on wheels; sweat breaks

           on my cold brow!(p. 61)


Author Indira Babbellapati’s Nomadic Nights brings a refreshing, sated poetic mood for readers who have a thing or two for ‘night’ imaginings. Night poems have immersed the poetic sanctum for centuries, to name a few (no order in chronology) such as Pablo Neruda (Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines), Robert Frost (Acquainted with The Night), Rose Terry Cooke (Night Comes Creeping), H.W. Longfellow (Hymn to The Night), Paul Lawrence Dunbar (Ships That Pass In The Night), Amy Lowel (At Night), and Margaret Atwood (Night Poem). And in the Introduction of this book, poet and published author, Raamaa Chandramouli rightly acclaims that this collection of poems “deserves to be translated into all Indian languages and world languages too”.


Author Indira Babbellapati has been sculpting her literary and poetic gem stones as a Professor of English in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India. She has authored several books of poetry, including Affaire de Coeur (2009), Vignettes of the Sea (2010), The Night of Nectar (2012-translated), From the Biography of An Unknown Woman (2015), Into A Crowded Aloneness (2016 – translated). Her poetry is also published in anthologies, including Roots and Wings, Heaven Suvamarekha and Persona Gender Games and Other Stories, Dusk and Asampooma. Her translations are also found in Indian Literature and Gold Nuggets, an Academi publication.


Nomadic Nights, a book of poems by Indira Babbellapati, J.V. Publications, Hyderabad ( February, 2016).

Book Review by Leonard Dabydeen, Author of Watching You, A Collection of Tetractys Poems, Xlibris Publications (2012); Searching for You, A Collection of Tetractys and Fibonacci Poems, Xlibris Publications (2015).