About the Book
Adman, householder, mystic, public intellectual and ashram devotee, Kersy Katrak (1936-2007) has never quite received his due as a poet. Katrak’s ‘lush, provocative, and very readable’verse has, with its rare but persistent appearance in anthologies of Indian poetry in English, remained in a curious way at once unforgotten and unrecognized. This book aims, at long last,to remedy this state of affairs. It is the very first comprehensive collection of Katrak’s poetic work, most of it long out of print,some of it previously published only in hard-to-find periodicals. Katrak’s poetry resonates powerfully with Wallace Steven’s observation that ‘It is equal to living in a tragic land, To live in a tragic time’. His concerns remain,palpably,our concerns: a search for the everyday alchemy that might translate the visceral potentials of collective life into generative forms of belonging. This problem of the relation between inner energies and outer forms is at the core of Katrak’s work as a poet and a mystic. And it is what binds his esoteric commitments to his career in advertising. The anthropologist William Mazzarella’s critical introduction to the present volume is the first substantive exploration of these connections in Katrak’s life and work.