Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Daljit Nagra

Daljit Nagra, pictured here with Priscilla Uppal in Calgary for WordFest last month. Hear the charming Nagra discuss and read from the title poem Look we have coming to Dover!, which won the Forward Prize:
Swarms of us, grafting
in the black within shot of the moon's spotlight,
banking on the miracle of sun to span
its rainbow, passport us to life. Only then
can it be human to bare-faced, hoick ourselves for the clear.
I'm thinking of Daljit Nagra's world. Bringing Punjabi-English to the poetry world. A linguistics reminiscent of Dennis Lee:
To Aeroflot the savage miles
in a moment, tucking under
From the poem "For the Wealth of India," which describes a world of "pongy tailors" that "run like flies," "knobbly-kneed" "bent-neck man who trays us with milky sweets." Ah, a man entering the world of the English, with "cans of Fanta...twisting away with a snarl." The glory of languages, cultural nuances colliding here with reference to Matthew Arnold and Christopher Marlowe. This is great stuff.

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