Tishani Doshi is an Indian poet, journalist and dancer based in Chennai. Born in Madras, India, to a Welsh mother and Gujarati father, she received an Eric Gregory Award in 2001. Her first poetry collection, Countries of the Body, won the 2006 Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection.She has been invited to the poetry galas of the Guardian-sponsored Hay Festival of 2006 and the Cartagena Hay Festival of 2007. Her first novel, The Pleasure Seekers, was published by Bloomsbury in 2010 and was long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2011, and shortlisted for The Hindu Best Fiction Award in 2010.
She writes a blog titled "Hit or Miss" on Cricinfo, a cricket-related ... more »
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Tishani Doshi Poems
The Day We Went To The Sea
The day we went to the sea mothers in Madras were mining the Marina for missing children.
Ode to Drowning
This is an ode to be sung in the latest hour of night
Let us not speak of those days when coffee beans filled the morning with hope, when our mothers’ headscarves hung like white flags on washing lines.
Ode to The Walking Woman
Sit - you must be tired of walking, of losing yourself
Another Man's Woman
If we’d lived in another age, I’d have been the kind of woman who refused to cast down her eyes. The kind of woman
The sister here is telling my mother How she came to collect children Because they were crippled or dark or girls.
In Nairobi, an albino boy followed me everywhere Peering at me from behind cupboards and trees, Chortling with glee: Hello fine! Here is space. Here is space
These days men on curbs are curved Like farm tools or bits of wire, Like unruly saucers of tea flung Into the trees, the walls, the breeze.
What The Body Knows
The body dances in a darkened room Turning itself inside out So that skin can face the light in fractures, Slip like shadow through skeleton walls,
Turning Into Men Again
This morning men are returning to the world, Waiting on the sides of blackened pavements For a rickshaw to carry them away On the sharp pins and soles of their dancing feet.
AJ, Age 15
I once chased my brother Down to the edge of the sea. We ran past sheets and towels Spread like sky on the beach,
Love In Carlisle
Girls were crying yesterday in their ball gowns; Holding each other up like poles of wilted beanstalks. I wanted to carry them into the streets. To the unused railroad track in the middle of town,
I hold my husband in plastic bags. He’s whispering like a soft, worn thing, dropp me here, dropp me gently.
At The Rodin Museum
Rilke is following me everywhere With his tailor-made suits And vegetarian smile.
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The Day We Went To The Sea
The day we went to the sea
mothers in Madras were mining
the Marina for missing children.
Thatch flew in the sky, prisoners
ran free, houses danced like danger
in the wind. I saw a woman hold
the tattered edge of the world
in her hand, look past the temple
which was still standing, as she was —
miraculously whole in the debris of gaudy
South Indian sun. When she moved
her other hand across her brow,
in a single arcing sweep of grace,
it was as if she alone could alter things,
bring us to the wordless safety of our beds.