Meena Alexander

(1951 / Allahabad)

Meena Alexander
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Meena Alexander (born 1951) is an internationally acclaimed poet, scholar, and writer. Born in Allahabad, India, and raised in India and Sudan, Alexander lives and works in New York City, where she is Distinguished Professor of English at Hunter College and at the CUNY Graduate Center in the PhD program in English. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, literary memoirs, essays, and works of fiction and literary criticism.
Meena Alexander was born into a Syrian Christian family from Kerala, South India. She lived in Allahabad and Kerala until she was almost five when her father’s work—as a scientist for the Indian government—took the family to Khartoum in newly independent... more »

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Best Poem of Meena Alexander


I was young when you came to me.
Each thing rings its turn,
you sang in my ear, a slip of a thing
dressed like a convent girl--
white socks, shoes,
dark blue pinafore, white blouse.

A pencil box in hand: girl, book, tree--
those were the words you gave me.
Girl was penne, hair drawn back,
gleaming on the scalp,
the self in a mirror in a rosewood room
the sky at monsoon time, pearl slits

In cloud cover, a jagged music pours:
gash of sense, raw covenant
clasped still in a gold bound book,
pusthakam pages parted,
ink rubbed with ...

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