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Review: The Glass-Blower: Selected Poems, by Keki N. Daruwalla

The Glass-Blower selects from nine books of poetry and adds a few new compositions, and is Keki N. Daruwalla's first full-length collection to be published in the UK. Daruwalla is one of India's leading writers working in the English language, which he dubs his half-caste mistress. His subject is India: the country, the vast rivers, the disjointed races and the brief flash of a moment between two people. The beauty and repugnance he observes is juxtaposed effortlessly, as in

the sewer-mouth trained like cannon / on the river's flank and the nocturnal flower in a dream / that opens its petals only at dusk. His gift of metaphor is mesmerising yet deployed with deceptive lightness, and equally potent in the panoptic breadth of his examinations of history and the fearless intimacy of To My Daughter Rookzain - Three years and then again / the uterus flowered. Daruwalla provides the reader with a tactile glimpse into every level of another world. He deserves much greater recognition beyond the country of his poetry.