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Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 ‘Myth Is Not Merely Decorative’ : Prithvi Varatharajan Interviews Michelle Cahill
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The subject of my interview with Cahill is her second book of poems, Vishvarūpa, which is a highly unusual book by a contemporary Australian poet. In VishvarūpaCahill reanimates figures from ancient Hindu mythology. Cahill takes Hindu gods and goddesses and drops them into suburban Sydney, and into various Indian cities. The poet adopts the voices of Hindu gods in the first person, in poems such as ‘Pārvatī in Darlinghurst’ and ‘Laksmi Under Oath,’ and writes them into poems in the third (‘Hanuman,’ ‘Sita’). Vishvarūpa is an experimental rendering of myth that is well known, in its conventional form, to Hindus, but would be relatively unknown to the Australian or Western reader; it contains a comprehensive glossary for this reason. The book draws on the Mahābhārataand the Rāmāyaṇa – Hindu narrative epics – and philosophy and scriptures in the Vedas. Cahill’s own background is Christian, as she tells me, although her ancestors were Hindus before India was colonised. As such, Vishvarūpa is the poet’s attempt to reconnect to a Hindu tradition that is in fact part of her heritage. Cahill has Goan-Anglo-Indian – or Eurasian – ancestry, and cultural identity is a prominent theme in her work.' (From introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Cordite Poetry Review Suburbia no. 84 1 February 2018 12858164 2018 periodical issue

    'We begin with two recent voices in Cordite Poetry Review.

    '‘There is an assumption that real art only comes from the city,’ writes Winnie Siulolovao Dunn in her 2017 essay, ‘FOB: Fresh off the Books’. Dunn is writing about the stigma of hailing from both Mt Druitt and Tonga. For the young Dunn, the ethnically diverse Western Suburbs of Sydney seem far removed from any cultural centre. Indeed, as Dunn recounts, it took her twenty-one years to write and own ‘the literature of being a Fob in Mounty County.’

    'The second voice is Corey Wakeling’s, and it comes from his brilliantly provocative review of Puncher & Wattmann’s Contemporary Australian Poetry. Here, Wakeling argues that ‘the suburban is a preeminent register of the Australian contemporary’ and that ‘much Australian poetry already seems embedded in the suburban condition.’ For Wakeling, the huge CAP volume is a testament to the various ways that contemporary poetry is implicated in or grappling with notions and legacies of suburbia.' (Lachlan Brown and Nathanael O'Reilly : Editorial Introduction) 

Last amended 9 Feb 2018 06:53:08