At KGB in NYC not too long ago, I enjoyed hearing Dipika Mukherjee read from her newest book, Dialect of Distant Harbors, and wanted to get her on the blog. She had just flown in from Chicago and was flying back the next day. It was impossible to record her reading before she left so we settled on the next best thing, a get together on Zoom.
The daughter of a diplomat, Dipika Mukherjee has been on the move since birth, never a citizen of one place, she says, but of the world. Like a poet she admires, Rabindranath Tagore, her travels have given her a knowledge of many languages, which informs the language she writes in, which is English at present.
I have written while traveling too, and the one thing I can tell you is that no wise traveler travels with more than he or she can carry. We discard what we don’t need to make the going easier. Writing is very much the same thing, especially when we travel, getting down to the essentials.
At KGB and on Zoom, Dipika Mukherjee’s poems have a confident clarity speaking beautifully with vivid images that remain in the mind long after the words have gone. The first poem read, “Wanderlust Ghazal,” is a good example of what I am trying to say. Here are the last two stanzas:
Malay lascars sang of narrow boats, with pineapples stacked too …..high;
A grievous vastness to this world, beyond human experience.
Wanderlust is a disease. Incurable. Deep from within, it chortles,
The light of the moon cannot be rooted, Dipika, do not even try!
You will find it all in the Vimeo.
The three poems that I’ve scanned below are not read by the poet in the Vimeo; these poems about the mother tongue are simply a little extra added to give a better idea of what will be found in the book. Enjoy.
Dialect of Distant Harbors is published by KavanKerry Press. You can check it out here:
You can find out more about Dipika Mukherjee at her website here: