ABOUT THE POEMS Questions about language, humanity and poetry itself are always knocking against one another in the poems of Hemant Divate. The lyric speaker in these poems knows that when we think about life, it is also language that thinks through us (or languages that think separately and cumulatively through us), and the kind of language we use reveals who we are just as surely as that which we seek to address in language. A very representative linguistic quandary (and secret regret) of the bilingual Indian—perfectly adept at thinking across languages but often self-conscious about the vernacular side of his linguistic nature—is beautifully teased out in Divate’s ‘What Happened To The Language?’ A poet’s task is also to make new images, and Divate imagines an exceptionally good one for the nature of the lyric poem when he compares it to a set of teeth in which morsels from life are stuck.
'What Happened To The Language' and other poems by Hemant Divate
translated from Marathi by Mustansir Dalvi