Sanjeev Sethi (Voices Within 2023)

Sanjeev Sethi has authored seven books of poetry. His latest is Wrappings in Bespoke (The Hedgehog Poetry Press, UK, August 2022). He has been published in over thirty countries. His poems have found a home in more than 400 journals, anthologies, and online literary venues. He edited Dreich Planet #1, for Hybriddreich, Scotland, in December 2022. He is the joint winner of the Full Fat Collection Competition-Deux, organized by Hedgehog Poetry Press, UK. In 2023, he won the First Prize in a Poetry Competition by the prestigious National Defence Academy. He lives in Mumbai.

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Élan Vital
Demurrals are marked
on the steps
of my first staircase.
The brio of boyhood
thwarts asperities:
Some confront us,
some we never comprehend.
The intuitive accepts them.
The others boohoo at every break
or coerce others to for issues
beyond their bridle.
Me and myself
as an interlocutor,
are engaging conversationalists.
We pick up an idea
or an issue
and deconstruct it
till it does not recognize itself.
We accelerate
the mind’s capacity
to enter newer colonies,
forge friendships with neoteric concepts.




I show my maid of thirty years
the latest anthology with my poems. 
She, as always, is impressed.
Though this time, her demeanor
possess an uneasy quality.

One or two lakh?
She asks with seriousness
that demands attention.
But my eyes don’t meet hers,
I wear an engaged look.

*Sahib asli baat kabie batate hee nahi?
She whispers.
*Sir never tells me the real thing.





My lines lift me. They offer me pluck
to dump mossbacked ideas. This feeling
of fulfillment is the appanage for inditing.
The young borrow easily. Unmindfully,
they mimic. I wrote like I read until my
muscle memory picked up notations.

A theme that alienates is a thoughtless idea.
Or one loaded by lucubration. Away from
the rigors of reality, art, in its essence, boosts
cohesiveness. Insularity foments divisiveness.
This must not be permitted access in print 
enclaves, which enable the arts to inhale.

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