A Poetics of Kinesis: Tempering with imagery: Sanjeev Sethi unraveled



Wee poems by Sanjeev Sethi

Hybriddreich Ltd, Scotland


ISBN 9781873412763

Year of publication: 2021; Pages: 38; Price: £3


With Sanjeev Sethi, words have got their own kinesis, energy and aura, like most of the contemporary poetry is these days---a constant conversation between words and images; a creative process that produces some critical epistemologies that yield  breathtaking vistas of stunning landscapes, both verbal, lexical and aesthetic, in impact and appeal.

Sethi is celebrated for his masterly grip over the Raj legacy of English and making this post-colonial instrument of communication supple and lyrical, despite heavy-duty words being embedded like sediments in craggy rocks; words in lesser talent might sound snobbish or pretentious but with him, flow with the grace of a river with its wide and variegated sweep over changing topographies. The end-result is sublime for a reader willing to navigate a dictionary and the text simultaneously, in a cultivated style that Roland Barthes gleefully calls writerly. The poems featured in this Wee Book summon up rare spirit of craftsmanship and deep thinking---a rare synthesis of linguistic brilliance and imagery.

BLEB is a fit virgin territory for the seekers of higher dimensions that art provides and counters the blasé and commodification of culture industry in a mass society. Sethi invites the fellow traveler to take a dive into the shimmering textures of felt immediacies created by an artist, almost hermit, in an age of self-promotion and narcissistic obsession, and, selfish hunt for awards, video readings and fellowships through arcane writings that self-enclose and remain proudly inaccessible. He is away from the usual gimmicks in a market hungry for the next best seller---and in his quiet solitude in a Mumbai apartment, continues to manufacture poetic realms that run parallel and contiguous with lived-in realities, in a way mirroring truths that serious art offers for the diligent.

See this little work of art, where words shed their denotative aspects and become something extra---joyful, prancing, suffused with potential energy to be co- discovered with the poet at work. It contains the poetics of a restive Sanjeev Sethi---a constant journey of recovery and discovery of exotic in a blasé environment, the chief function of great art:


Sanjeev Sethi


As casual as strolling on a graveled pathway

in a close-by parkland, words cycle towards

me on my inner track where ideas lap dance

with a tumescent dash. The first draft is born.

This baby needs a battery of nurses and

other paraphernalia. I’m the doc on duty.

Summon the accoucheur for stillborns.



Or, this mini canvas with pulsating power:




The beauty of brackens acknowledges my presence

with a little jig. I smile back like one does to a natty

new arrival in the neighborhood. The emptiness in

those eyes summons me to shoal them with a fairing

of emollients. A poem isn’t a fable or folktale. Its

task is to temper with images and ideas that create

one’s fantasy or factuality: like those oeillades.


The aesthetics here is avant-garde---inner need to innovate, restore luminosity to old words, abused and degraded by a crass consumerist culture.

Sanjeev works hard to unlock the secret passages to the distant summits glowing in the reassuring morning light, after a long winter fog!

Worth the space in your shelf.

This collection will light up inner and outer regions of existence---collective, individual, cultural and spiritual.


  1. An in-depth review of a beautiful book! Congratulations to both of you- Sunil Sharma and Sanjeev Sethi!

  2. Thanks Gopal Lahiri for your kind words.


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