Friday, May 22, 2015

Poem for the Weekend: Sudeep Sen


Born in India, Sudeep Sen received a master's degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, New York. He was an international poet-in-residence at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, and a visiting scholar at Harvard University. He divides his time between New Delhi, London, and New York. You can read more about him here

A Blank Letter

by Sudeep Sen                           

An envelope arrives unannounced from overseas
containing stark white sheets,

perfect in their presentation of absence.
Only a bold logo on top

revealed its origin, but absolutely nothing else.
I examined the sheets,

peered through their grains —
heavy cotton-laid striations —

concealing text, in white ink, postmarked India.
Even the watermark's translucence

made the script’s invisibility transparent.
Buried among the involute contours, lay sheets

of sophisticated pulp, paper containing
scattered metaphors — uncoded, unadorned,

untouched — virgin lines that spill, populate
and circulate to keep alive its breathings.

Corpuscles of a very different kind —
hieroglyphics, unsolved, but crystal-clear.


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"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka