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Review: Sonata for Four Hands, by Amarjit Chandan

Sophie Shorland, Brief Notice, The Warwick Review, Vol.5, No.3, September 2011

After spending two years in solitary confinement it is unsurprising that Amarjit Chandan's volume of poetry. Sonata for Four Hands, is laced with a sense of nostalgic melancholy, phrases such as Sadness travelling through the veins telling of the desolation and loss he has experienced. However, there is also a powerful feeling of life and the desire for it in Chandan's poetry, expressed through the senses and feelings of sexual desire:

Wear me
As the sound wears the word
As the seed wears the skin
As the book wears the touch of the hands
As the sea wears the sky
As god wears worlds
Wear me

There are notes of violence and aggression in the poems (As if it were a gun / loaded with bullets of life) but mostly Sonata for Four Hands is a calm coming to terms with past and present, the intertwining lives of Chandan, his children, forefathers and lovers. The collection is aptly named: a lyricism crafted by the hands of the poet and his translators permeates every poem and Chandan's sadness, nostalgia and desire are captured eloquently and beautifully by his poetry.