Meet Rumjhum Biswas

In Rumjhum Biswas’s poem “Bones”, which will be published in the September 2010 issue of Cha, the persona tells us about her mother’s small bones — ‘still warm and sticky / from [her] smoldering pyre’. This is, then, a poem about death, or the aftermath of death, and yet the language in the piece is calm, controlled and precise: every word is heavy, as if the words are small bones, each carefully picked. In the final stanzas, the persona says she ‘made sure’ that the pot containing her mother’s bones ‘sank deep’ and ‘receded far into the waters’. Did the persona want to protect the earthly remains of her mother, which were never intended for anyone to see? Did the wish to have the parent’s remnants far away from her suggest some concealed parent-child tension? Or, is ‘the waters’ a metaphor for the persona’s emotion? The waters, however calm on the surface, hide violent turbulence beneath.

:::: Also read Bob Bradshaw’s analysis of the poem here.:::::

Bio: Rumjhum Biswas has been published in India and abroad in both online and print journals and anthologies. She has won prizes in poetry contests in India and one of her poems was long listed for the Bridport Poetry Prize 2006, while “March” was commended in the Writelinks’ Spring Fever Competition, 2008. Also, her story “Ahalya’s Valhalla” was among Story South’s Million Writers’ notable stories of 2007. Biswas was a participating poet in the 2008 Prakriti Foundation Poetry Festival in Chennai and a featured poet during the Poetry Slam organized jointly by the US Consul General, Chennai and The Prakriti Foundation in December 2009. She continues to write full time and blogs mainly here.

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