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Lives of Coat Hangers (Paperback) (Sudesh Mishra)

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In Sudesh Mishra’s new collection the opening poem, The Capacious Muse’, acts as a manifesto or declaration of intent. It’s a sequence of aphoristic sentences that begins: The muse will not proscribe.’ In other words, this poet will not rule anything out as the fit subject for a poem. Sudesh Mishra is a philosophical poet, one preoccupied not only with how meaning is made, but with how meaning is manifested in the modern world. His poetry is rich in the truths revealed by humble, humdrum objects, as in the title poem, The Lives of Coat Hangers’: They wait for a latch to raise an eyebrow, For a shadow to step in from the light. They long to be held in the arms of a coat Subtle, witty, linguistically adept and internationally well travelled, Sudesh Mishra is a poet whose range of reference traverses global culture. An ambitious and accomplished writer, one able to brilliantly reinvent language, myth and metaphor, his fifth collection confirms him as a major poetic voice in the South Pacific.

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