"It was through her creative writing that Dev Sen gave herself a sovereign presence in the Bengali literary sphere.... She was not afraid of baring her pain in the early poetry she wrote, nor did she ever compromise on questions of freedom." (Dipesh Chakrabarty)
"A new collection of Nabaneeta Dev Sen's work, some translated into English by the poet and some, with great felicity, by her daughter Nandana Dev Sen, is beautifully produced by Archipelago Books and covers a spectrum of the poet's gifts from the playful and tender that recall Tagore to the fierce and passionate in her later work, the final poems not so much shadowed by death as ignited by it." (Anita Desai, author of Clear Light of Day and Fasting, Feasting)
“Poetry and music are both languages of the heart, so it is a special gift when a great poet of the world is finally well-translated. Here, the legendary Bengali poet, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, is re-birthed in English by her daughter, Nandana Dev Sen. I believe that Acrobat is a book that will rescue us and be loved around the world.” (Gloria Steinem)
A deeply humane new collection by a luminary of Bengali literature
A radiant collection of poetry about womanhood, intimacy, and the body politic that together evokes the arc of an ordinary life. Nabaneeta Dev Sen's rhythmic lines explore the joys and agonies of first love, childbirth, and decay with a restless, tactile imagination, both picking apart and celebrating the rituals that make us human. When she warns, "know that blood can be easily drawn by lips", her words tune to the fierce and biting depths of language, to the "treachery that lingers on tongue tips". At once compassionate and unsparing, conversational and symphonic, these poems tell of a rope shivering beneath an acrobat's nimble feet or of a twisted, blood-soaked umbilical cord - they pluck the invisible threads that bind us together.