About the Book
In his poem ‘Sailing to Byzantium’, W.B.Yeats sees himself transformed into a golden bird after his death. The bird is meant to entertain the city’s lords and ladies by singing of ‘what’s past, or passing, or to come.’ In the real and imaginary Byzantiums we inhabit today, Adil Jussawalla’s poems have a similar purpose – to tell, foretell, and uncover the ravaged face of the present.
‘He’s there on that street, making sounds that belong
to lands nobody knows, not in this world,
past sailing, past understanding.’
– from Jussawalla’s poem ‘Navigation Marks’
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
– Jerry Pinto
These lines by Jussawalla—with their images of the maritime, the mortal, and the beyond— drop anchors that stun as they fall through hulls and remembrance. There is a sense of being at once behind the helm of The Flying Dutchman, and trying to find sea-legs.
This homage to a city, where tarpaulin allies with sky and weather, is rich in puns
(“Faults not our own”-The Earthquake) and absurdity (“This number does not exist./ This port does not exist./ They should have told you.”).
Shorelines is a treasure as immeasurable as its shipwrecks’.