Sunday, August 30, 2009

Feature: Nabina Das Day 1

We are very pleased to present this week's feature to you, Nabina Das. Nabina's writing is superb; her poetry is magical, flavored by her diverse background and growing up in a creative bilingual family. We think you will love her poetry this week as well as her interview questions.

Welcome to *Mnemosyne*, Nabina!

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The First Apple Sings a Ruba’i

Although half-bitten, my senses still could see
Eve’s smitten look and the obvious transparency
Between her dawn skin and the coy nervous air –
I lost my ruddy glow to what grew over her, uneasy.

© Nabina Das (First published in Quay-A Journal of the Arts)

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Nabina Das lives two lives, shuttling between USA and India. Her short stories have been published in Inner Voices, a contest-winning collection of fiction (Mirage Books, India), and The Cartier Street Review. A 2nd prize winner of an all-India Poetry Contest organized by HarperCollins-India and Open Space, her poems appear in Quay, Pirene’s Fountain, Shalla Magazine, Kritya, Lit Up Magazine, The Toronto Quarterly, The Cartier Street Review, Maintenant 3 (Three Rooms Press), Muse India, Danse Macabre, The Smoking Book (web anthology from Poets Wear Prada press), Liberated Muse anthology and Mad Swirl. A poetry commentary and a poetry book review also appear in Kritya and The Cartier Street Review. A 2007 Joan Jakobson fiction scholar from Wesleyan Writers’ Conference, and a 2007 Julio Lobo fiction scholar from Lesley Writers’ Conference, Nabina was Assistant Metro Editor with The Ithaca Journal, Ithaca, NY, and has worked as a journalist and media person in India for about 10 years in places as diverse as, Down To Earth environmental magazine, Confederation of Indian Industries, National Foundation for India and The Sentinel newspaper. She has published several articles, commentaries and essays during her tenures. An M.A. in Linguistics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, her other interests are theater and music. Formally trained in India classical music, she has performed in radio and TV programs and acted in street theater productions in India. She blogs at and freelances when not writing.


  1. Very nice, Nabina. I like the way the uneasiness is communicated through suggestion in this poem. Congratulations on being featured this week!

  2. This is one of my favorite Nabina poems. It works on several levels.

    One: an anthro-animated fruit, reporting to us on a distant, primal, ambiguous moment of consciousness:

    "coy, nervous air"...the apple notices nature's edginess in sympathy with Eve.

    "what grew over her, uneasy"...something not good this way comes.

    Two: an erotic, euphemistically charged, post-virginal sigh.

    Three: a pantheistic squeamishness coming from a god-laden thing...a suspenseful pondering over what It had wrought with life.

  3. Oh, and one more number:

    Four: the actual gist, which zoomed right over my head. :)

  4. So much compressed into so little. I wish I had the incisive insight to fathom it all.

  5. I love the imageries your poems weave. its so quick to paint the picture in one's inner mind...but how do i ever get my not- so -evolved teachers to use them in classrooms..need to work this out

  6. dawn skin and coy nervous air- fantastic imagery and you have art of bringing a ripple in the heart.

    Best wishes

    Basanta kar, India

  7. I love stories even short ones in poetic form that give out brains somewhere to point to explore undiscovered land.

    And appreciate Tims' and the others comments too. Adds a lot to the appreciation of the poem..