Jay Kasturi

Rookie - 0 Points [Jay Menon, Jayarajan Kasturi]

Biography of Jay Kasturi

I live in Sparta, a small town in the hilly northwest corner of New Jersey. I came to the US in 1970 and took my graduate degree in Computer Science. Although science was somehow always the area of my academic concentration, poetry was, to me, from the very beginning, somewhat of a passion, a meditation, the only way to project what I find lies too deep for any other form of expression.

I began writing poetry in my native language at the age of 13 and slowly made the transition to English at 17. In the beginning, I followed the traditional form of poetry, the usual pattern of rhyme, the semblance of a meter and a single and tightly-bound theme. Later, I began to feel that it is somewhat constraining, limiting what I wanted to write and limiting what poetry meant to me. To me, poetry is something like an iceberg, what is seen is what is on the page. The meaning or its general and specific import themselves may be partly in the poet's mind, partly in the reader's grasp of it and yet there may be another part that is for ever hidden. Thus the words, the images and the symbols and the allusions used in a poem assume a life of their own, opening the poem up to multiple interpretations that may change even further with the passage of time.

Apart from a few poems in the university literary magazine during my undergraduate studies, I stayed away from publishing my poems. I write poems because the words seem to come to me, sometimes unsought, and I have a basic need to write. It has become a sort of healing for me, a way of rising above the daily din, a most rewarding release.

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Being Young

Being young –
no timetable for passion,
no timing for ‘I love you’,
no carefully pursed lips
hiding bad breath
for the morning kiss.

(1990)

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