Gieve Patel's Collected Poems offer a rare journey into the writer’s mind and imagination, its development

By Manika Sharma | FirstPost

William Wordsworth wrote in Resolution and Independence that young poets always ‘begin in gladness’. In the introduction to Gieve Patel’s Collected Poems (Paperwall, 2018) poet Arundhati Subramaniam puts Patel’s absence from the poetry scene for almost three decades down to two possibilities: a ‘sense of inner necessity being muted’ or Patel’s vigorous interaction with the visual arts compensating for that necessity in one way or another. It is easy to ascribe Patel’s missing act to the middling decency of the latter than Wordsworth’s suggestion of a later ‘madness’. That and the fact that Patel, from among the Bombay Poets, is also its least worn part, an amulet still unstudied to the extent that it enables detachment. It hasn’t helped over the years that the Bombay Poets have only recurred in celebratory capacity, with little attention given to critiquing their writings. Gieve Patel’s Collected Poems though offers that opportunity.

13 July 2018