03 - The Kimnama by Kim Roberts Jul 15, 2008 4:02:39 GMT 2
Post by shayepoet on Jul 15, 2008 4:02:39 GMT 2
The Kimnama is a book-length poem about the author's experiences living in northern India,
a masala that blends history, religion, stunning imagery, and personal encounters.
Excerpts from The Kimnama:
A fruit market on spindly wooden stands[/size][/pre]
is built by the side of the road.
Next to the melons,
a barber lifts his knife,[/size][/pre]
his client's face
full of white lather.
A clump of laughing women[/size][/pre]
in a rainbow of saris
crosses the street.
Japanese Maruti vans honk[/size][/pre]
past ancient Ambassador cabs
built like tanks.
A man clad in a bright pink turban[/size][/pre]
and an orange scarf
around his neck smiles without teeth.
The market vendor deposits[/size][/pre]
red onion skins in the gutter
and three cows gather,
push their noses deep in rich reddish-purple,[/size][/pre]
as if they knew they were gods.
Vipul's astrologer recommends[/size][/pre]
he wear a blue sapphire
and make a pilgrimage
to the site of Krishna's birth[/size][/pre]
to bathe in the water there.
Maybe then his luck will improve.
The smell of the streets[/size][/pre]
grows sharper at night.
Spices, wood smoke,
dust, cattle, and sweat. Chandan,[/size][/pre]
a sandalwood paste,
used in Hindu temple rites.
The burned smell of chapatti,[/size][/pre]
round wheat bread made
over an open flame.
The faint smell of drying flowers[/size][/pre]
in orange garlands.
Incense, more spice. And more dust.[/size][/pre]
everything in a thin coat
that gets inside your nostrils,[/size][/pre]
that enters your food,
that cannot be washed away.
Reviews for The Kimnama:
The Kimnama (Vrzhu Press) by Kim Roberts transports us swiftly to India where...gentle lines give us a sense of dream places that wake us to marvels. Lapidary verses [that] vary with brisk evocation of streets, shops, and voices. Roberts devotes her lean book to vast India not only from her vantage point as traveler but from the eyes, ears, and tongues of Indians; their timeless spirit shines despite imperial edicts or raids by sacred cows."
—Ethan Fischer , Montserrat Review
"The language throughout is elegant and precise, and the short swinging lines reinforce the idea of passage, for me. Musical repetitions, the use of opposites, and the theme of connection, recall Whitman—especially 'Crossing Brooklyn Ferry' or 'Prayer to Columbus.'”
—The Alsop Review
"...this work makes the reader viscerally smell, hear, touch and see the streets, mosques, gods, vehicles, shopping malls and slums of New Delhi."
—Kathi Wolfe, Scene4 Magazine
"In the lines of this book-length poem, Kim Roberts distills for us the essence of India. Braiding past and present with sensual detail, she summons up the contrasts—houses on a narrow dirt lane sharing the wall of Muhammadpur's tomb, men in dhotis squatting 'like giant grasshoppers' near 'a chandelier vendor/his wares hanging from a tree//so the cut glass shimmered/where the sun/filtered through the dusty leaves,' her observations of the outer world complemented by inner realizations arrived at organically."
—Cheryl Snell , Rattle
About the author:
Kim Roberts is the editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly and author of two books of poems, The Kimnama (Vrzhu Press, 2007), and The Wishbone Galaxy (Washington Writers Publishing House, 1994). Roberts is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the DC Commission on the Arts, and the Humanities Council of Washington. She has been awarded writers' residencies from eleven artist colonies and has published poems in journals beginning with every letter of the alphabet.
ISBN-13: 978-1430314073, pages, $12.00
Vrzhu Press, 2007
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