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An Indian diplomat’s love poem to Latin America gets an Italian twist

| Updated: July 5, 2021 15:08

Abhay K sees the world in a constant rhythm, and when he pens down this experience what you get is a book that opens the borders of time and place. India’s 21st Ambassador to Madagascar is a Bihari who didn’t confine himself to geographical boundaries.

Poets can find magic in mundane and his published work—The Seduction of Delhi, The Eight-Eyed Lord of Kathmandu, The Prophecy of Brasilia and others—hold testimony to it.

His latest work—The Alphabets of Latin America—is a poetic tribute to land he holds so close to his heart. He subtly uses the elements of a place—the dream vision of Tenochtitlan—historic centre of Mexico City, or the Borgesian paradox— a paradox where one ends by returning to the beginning— of looking for Borges and finding mirror reflections of the self.

The book gets an Italian translation by Angela D’Ambra, has a foreword by Italian author David Tozzo and is published by Edizioni Efesto.  It comprises 108 poems on various places, monuments, personalities, flora and fauna, festivals, cuisine, landscapes, mythologies of Latin America, arranged in alphabetical order from A-Z.

David Tozzo

Abhay, 41, an alumnus of Delhi University (DU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) said, “I was overjoyed to see my book getting translated and published in the Italian language within a year of its publication. I’m delighted to see how Italian readers can relate to the book with the same force as it does to readers of English original.”

He is an author of ten poetry collections including The Magic of Madagascar, and the editor of The Bloomsbury Book of Great Indian Love Poems—Capitals. His poems have been published in Poetry Salzburg Review and Asian Literary.

Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Forrest Gander— praised the book as he said, “Abhay K. has a sense of lineation, of understatement and of manuscript structure. It’s such a joy to revisit so many places that I know, through his eyes. It is an original and thrilling book—a book that opens the borders of time and place, which is what seems so necessary now in this epoch of nationalist entrenchment and paranoia,”

Cuban poet Víctor Rodríguez Núñez who has published over 30 poetry books across Latin America and Europe find Abhay’s work armed with intelligence and sensitivity, with calculation and passion. “His book is a love poem that honors us as a society and culture.”

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