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My review of Tishani Doshi’s collection Everything Is Elsewhere in Biblio.
The world is raging outside when I start reading Tishani Doshi’s new book of poetry and I have to switch off the incessant buzz of the news channels, the sound of thousands of women typing their fury and the thump of my own irate heart, following the gang rape of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi. It is surprisingly easy. Everything Begins Elsewhere quickly draws me into an entirely different space, quieter and older, a monastery perhaps, or a mountain retreat. Doshi’s first book Countries of the Body (Tranquebar Press, 2008), which won the Forward Prize in 2006 for Best First Collection, owed much allegiance to dance and as Doshi’s attribution to Chandralekha bore witness, to her rebellious and enigmatic teacher. This book is dedicated to “Chandra, Again”. It too is concerned with the body in many ways but where there was a kinetic energy running through poems in the earlier book, here Doshi is preoccupied with stillness or an impossible nostalgia for stillness.
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