About the Book
“Wings sense what they must”. And poets too. In her third poetry collection, Anindita Sengupta receives and transmits the hues of a planet mad with want, fear, breakdown. At the heart of a maelstrom of (in)humanity and conflagration, dispossession and disease, her poems bite and rage and mourn. From forage fish to polar bears, she is enmeshed and implicated. With her, we sense the natural world’s mysteries as apprehensible, but “not teachable”. In these poems, breath is the seam that will rip and tear; pain the only climate we can count on. As we embrace deception and vulnerability, we coil in and out of the quieter spaces we contain and are contained by. Hers is our hunger to understand, even hope, so that we might begin again to believe in “small miracles”, to persist, like the algae, “in a world without light.”
– Sampurna Chattarji
Anindita Sengupta asks: “How to speak of violence without /repeating it. What language? What tone? What / memory?” Throughout this coruscating collection, her fluid and inventive poiesis attempts to answer these questions, weaving contingent and deeply human meanings out of personal and collective trauma. Only the Forest Knows is a profoundly accomplished, intelligent work. Sengupta creates an urgent, sensual language that speaks out of the raw contradictions and anguish of the present. This is a poetry tempered by fire, loss and sorrow that
yet, as Rilke said, “nevertheless still praises”: a hard-won beauty that is its own hope.
About the Book
These are late night poems of the body that sing also of catastrophe, how wide it is, how easy, like ‘being in one place instead of another.’ Anindita Sengupta’s new book is hot, harrowing and masterful. It will stay with me for a long time. ~ Jeet Thayil Anindita Sengupta is a poet of the precise line, the measured image, of mediated passion, the sure ending. Her observation is acute, her politics seldom theatrical and her passage from one world to another and from the object to the spirit smooth and subtle. Her poetry proves that silk can wound and knife can flower. ~ K. Satchidanandan “They rise in this landscape, the ancients – old loves, myths, cities, secret revolutions. Anindita Sengupta’s language is forever old and forever new. Fretful, explosive, terrifying. Her poetry will leave you with beautiful scars.” ~ Janice Pariat