This meditation on horror and healing, set in a Jewish cemetery that was part of the Łódź Ghetto, achieves a tentative blessingSujata Bhatt’s newly published Collected Poems explores, with remarkable consistency of voice and style, a lifetime of rich, diverse cultural experience. Born in Ahmedabad in 1956, Bhatt describes her background as “a traditional Gujarati Brahmin family of writers, teachers, social workers, musicians and scientists”. She learned English at the age of five, when her father, a virologist, moved the family to New Orleans, and ultimately took an MFA degree at the University of Iowa.Her absorption in 20th-century American poetics, and her interest in Eastern European literature in translation, are reflected in this week’s poem, “Łódź”, as is her residence in Germany since the late 1980s.Originally published in Augatora (2000), “Łódź” forms part of a section titled “History is a Broken Narrative”. Some poems pick up various fragments of the limitless human diaspora and solder them together, often augmented by the stories and voices of individuals. Other poems, like this one, centre on a reticent personal act of witness that seems akin to meditation.In the shadows of Łódź lie several broken narratives of the 20th century. The Jewish cemetery of …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books