No Other World : Selected Poems

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Narain, Kunwar
Narain, Apurva
Arc Translations


Kunwar Narain is one of the finest poets living today and a pre-eminent literary and intellectual figure in India. He has been variously described as a 'meditative' poet, 'dwelling on the present through the prism of myth and history', and as a writer whose work reveals 'a twentieth century sensibility in its anguish as well as its resourcefulness'. His poems are said to embody a unique simultaneity of the simple and the layered, the contemporary and the metaphysical, but, above all, a rare purity and a deep humanism.

Coursing through the past and the present, the absurd and the exploitative, intimate recollections and meditative ruminations, his is poetry that in its intricate weave and egalitarianism leaves us restless and reassured at once. The poems in this collection have been skilfully and painstakingly translated over several years by his son Apurva, who uncovers the nuanced content of the originals without compromising the allied complexities of their construct, not just in the broader demands of rhythm or fluency but also in the finer details of their 'word-music', rhyme or alliteration.