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Issue Details: First known date: 2020... 2020 Words That Swim between Us
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'Poet Paul Celan speaks of a poem as ‘a message in a bottle’ washing up on ‘heartland’ (2001: 396). This idea is indeed a poignant one for our times, and for the estrangement as well as strangeness being experienced (at the time of writing) as a result of ‘lockdown’, ‘selfisolation’, and ‘social distancing’. But how can it shape the development of poetries between India and Australia? Celan’s notion has a timelessness and universality, based as it is on an intensely dialogical poetics. As this paper attempts to show, the nuances of this poetics become increasingly pertinent to this exchange between Kolkata-based academic Sharmila Ray, and myself, Perth-based poet Mags Webster. It has been, for me, an exercise in seeking poetic and ontological common ground. I discuss how, prompted by Ray’s epistolatory approach to her home city of Kolkata, I came to interrogate more deeply, in my responses and through my thinking, notions around not only the ‘to whom’ of the poem, but also, and perhaps more importantly for this particular project, the ‘about whom’' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon TEXT Special Issue Website Series Indian-Australian Exchanges through Collaborative Poetic Inquiry no. 60 October 2020 20757143 2020 periodical issue

    'Poetry, it seems to me, raises the questions of margins and marginality in obvious ways … and yet poetry is central in terms of its contribution to language and thought. (Hecq 2005)

    'Liminality indicates a border, a line, and thus some style of crisis – some turn, or act of turning, of crossing from one place or state to another (Meads 2019: 5). It is the discovery of a limit, and simultaneously, realisation that the limit is not the end. There is always some further into and through which to step. What seems a wall is a skin is an interstice is warping, stretching, porous. Like the ‘/’ in the ‘im/possible’ and ‘both/and’, such lines are zones, spaces, gaps for opening and unfolding, sites for play and experimentation, for testing, dreaming, discovering. The liminal is thus imbued with potential: hitherto-unthought thoughts become articulable, letting new knowledges and ways of knowing come to be (Meads 2019: 5-6).' (Jaydeep Sarangi and Amelia Walker, (Introduction)

Last amended 13 Nov 2020 13:45:37 Words That Swim between Ussmall AustLit logo TEXT Special Issue Website Series
  • Calcutta,
    South Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • Perth, Western Australia,
  • London,
    United Kingdom (UK),
    Western Europe, Europe,
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