Things That Happen (Audiobook)
Translated and Narrated by Arunava Sinha
Bhaskar Chakrabarti’s poetry is synonymous with the romantic melancholia inherent to Calcutta. His trenchant poetic voice was one of the most significant to emerge in the 1960s and ’70s—perhaps the most prolific period of modern Bengali poetry. Spanning the rise of militant leftism, the spread of crippling poverty across India, the war in Bangladesh, the influx of millions of refugees, the dark, dictatorial days of Indira Gandhi’s reign, and the disillusionment of communist rule in Bengal, Chakrabarti’s poems plumb the depths of urban angst, expressing the spirit of sadness and alienation in delicate metaphors wrapped in deceptively lucid language.
In this first-ever comprehensive translation of Chakrabarti’s work, award-winning translator Arunava Sinha masterfully articulates that clarity of vision, retaining the unique cadence and idioms of the Bengali language. Presenting verses and prose poems from all of Chakrabarti’s life—from his first volume, When Will Winter Come, published in 1971, to his last, The Language of Giraffes, published just before his death in 2005, and collecting several unpublished works as well—Things That Happen and Other Poems introduces the world to a brilliant and universal poetic voice of urban life.
‘While this is [Chakrabarti's] first and last foray in front of American readers, such poetry lovers as there are will be richly rewarded. His work is muscular, sensual, and accessible, painting a picture not only of his unique place and time in the world, but of the human condition in general. It’s everything I could ask for in a full-length retrospective collection, from a corner of the world and a language I don’t often get the chance to read.’ —Words without Borders