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Independence Day by Manash Bhattacharjee

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Independence Day
(15th August, 1947)

The day had turned out to be
A feast for vultures
Every Muslim and Hindu body
Was Parsi in death

The gods fled the streets of bones
They left Kabir’s country desolate

Water partitioned blood,
Blood partitioned water,
Families partitioned gold,
Map partitioned memory,

No one sang anthems for the dead
No one raised the flag of skeletons
No one remembered the forgotten

Pigeons flown from the ramparts
Dispersed serenity under the sky
Even the clouds rained only water
And crops were harvested on time

 

Manash Bhattacharjee is an author and poet from Delhi. His poems have appeared in The London Magazine, New Welsh Review, The Fortnightly Review, Elohi Gadugi Journal, The Postcolonialist, George Szirtes’ Blog, Warscapes, First Proof: The Penguin Books of New Writing from India (Volume 5), The Missing Slate, The Little Magazine. His first collection of poetry, Ghalib’s Tomb and Other Poems (2013), was published by The London Magazine Editions.

This poem recalls the events on the eve of the 68th anniversary of India’s independence.

Degrees of Twilight by Maggie Butt

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The London Magazine Editions is delighted to present the fifth collection from critically acclaimed poet Maggie Butt, Degrees of Twilight.

The passage of time is tangible in Maggie Butt’s fifth collection. These poems use history, memory, work and travel as lenses to examine the inevitable pains and sharp pleasures at the heart of our transient lives.

TWILIGHT_6_COVERMaggie Butt is a poet who writes with elegance and wit, skill and sensitivity: her new collection offers the reader powerful insights into our twenty-first century purposes and predicaments.  Time, work, birth and death; love and loss; the essentials of human experience are here. 

More alert than many contemporary poets, she is also haunted by a disturbing awareness of lurking danger, ‘a cliff edge in the dark’; by the frailty of the human condition, and by its pathos.  There is wistfulness as well as courage.  RV Bailey

Maggie Butt’s poems focus, with clarity and humour, on the past’s strength, the present’s warmth and on all our futures: tender and apprehensive, as briefly glimpsed as twilight.  Alison Brackenbury

This is the poetry of simultaneity, of synchronicity, as multiple pasts, presents and futures co-exist in the same poems… Jonathan Taylor

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Read a poem from the collection here

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