SHE HAD SOME SISTERS
after Joy Harjo
Dedicated to Kashmiri Pandits who faced massacre and exodus from their homeland in 1990.
—from Rattle #73, Fall 2021
Tribute to Indian Poets
Pragya Vishnoi: “As an Indian poet, I was more inspired by short stories and novels especially by Dharmveer Bharti Ji, Jai Shankar Prasad Ji, Premchand Ji, and Rabindranath Tagore Ji. As a child, I didn’t enjoy poetry as much as I loved prose. Then I stumbled upon Jai Shankar Prasad Ji’s poem ‘Chhaya Mat Choona’ when I was 14 years old. I was stunned by the melancholic beauty of the poem and the magic weaved by the poet. When I was 18, I read poems by Russian women poets, and it was then poetry became something divine for me. My country has been invaded multiple times, and we were captives of invaders for a thousand years. Even today, there’s no week when we don’t lose our soldiers to terrorist attacks. The wounds of oppression and massacres are still present in our collective psyche and, as a result, I became interested in Indian gothic poetry. I’m a practicing Hindu and our religious texts place a greater importance in cosmology, so cosmology is not just a dry subject based on only tangible equations. The meeting of cosmology, spirituality, and futurism is something I’m very much interested in exploring.”