A descriptively lush poetic narrative of the author's Bengali grandfather's exile from India to pre-World War II Europe, his interior voyage and its echoes in his descendant.
Sati Mookherjee is a poet and lyricist whose work has appeared in Comstock Review, Cream City Review, Sonora Review and other literary journals. Her collaborative work with contemporary classical composers has been performed or recorded by ensemble ("The Esoterics") and solo artists (Hope Wechkin, Leaning Toward the Fiddler.) Nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and recipient of an Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship Award, she lives in the Pacific Northwest.
"'The eye is the first circle,' says Emerson in the epigraph to this stunning first book by Sati Mookherjee, who in widening circles embraces continents and generations. Her exquisite lyricism traces trajectories--lines on the globe, planetary orbits, her grandfather's political exile from Bengal to Manchester. Her penetrating eye gathers the forces that move in us, the animal and the scientific, the wonder, prayer, and 'abundant darkness of the larger world.' In these poems the seeing is one with the I that remembers, moving forward, the grandchild and mother, the beneficiary of the exile's suffering and triumphs. Mookherjee is a poet of great gifts, in love with the things and words of her world." - Robert McNamara, author of Incomplete Strangers
"Set in motion by her grandfather's exile from India, Mookherjee's graceful collection vividly charts his journey through an alchemy of details in which we see 'ordinary things turned holy.' In a brilliant multiplicity of forms, evocative images of eyes emerge as if to watch over the grandfather's struggles with sorrow, dislocation, faith, and the meaning of home. A total eclipse of the moon brings the odyssey to its beautifully redemptive close, rooted in kinship. Possessing lyrical means of transport and a visceral sense of place, this is a marvelous reading experience." - John Willson, author of Call This Room a Station
"The poem cycle in Eye moves in exquisite orbits, beginning with the image of the eye, then radiating out, rippling with worldly details, coalescing finally with the appearance of his great-grandchildren, even one yet unconceived, continuing the circle. The language in Eye is stunning, as in this description of the view from a window: 'The vowel of wind turns over in the flue./All week the sky was gluey with clouds, last night/dark bolls sat sodden on the rising moon.' But these poems contain much more than beautiful language; they are an expression of deeply human feelings—spirituality, grief, fear, tenderness, and love. Throughout the cycle, the poet elicits the joyous, yet grave, pull of generational love." - Arlene Naganawa, author of Private Graveyard