By Uttran Das Gupta
Available at Amazon.in
When this book is published and you read it
your morality will be outraged and
you will say: ‘… … I always
knew he was a little weird but I didn’t
know he was such a pervert. When did he
write all this? How did he find the time?’
Visceral Metropolis grapples boldly with its three central subjects: the big city as crucible, sewer, testing ground and festive parade of illusions; the individual self that is alternately ambushed and replenished by the big city, and must craft itself as it goes; and poetry itself, as passion, elusive illumination, pleasure, redemption.
In this set of startling, deceptively conversational poems, Uttaran Das Gupta claims and creates a Delhi from history’s landfills.
Nilanjana S Roy
There is in these lines a coruscating rage and desperation that the formal rigour, the meter, the rhyme, can scarcely contain, though there will be moments of love and tenderness, a glint of humour, a comforting memory…
Kiriti Sengupta writes about Visceral Metropolis in Huffpost.
Let me talk about Visceral Metropolis now: The book starts with an incisive foreword by Philip Nikolayev. He rightly propounds: “One of [Das Gupta’s] assets is an ability to rhyme and metricise naturally and unobtrusively, harnessing the way we talk at moments of heightened emotion, all that while pulling off a conversational precision, down to semicolons in dialogue.” In the preface to the collection Das Gupta writes a long poem titled “Obstinacy,” a soliloquy, where he asks: “…You think you know me?/ You’ve no fucking idea how lucid/ and dangerous I can be. You see me/ doggedly hammering away at the/ keyboard, typing out a, 1,000-page un-/ readable document without missing/ a single punctuation but you don’t/ know that in my bedside drawer is a/ manuscript of un-publishable poetry,/ written out in a careful hand with green/ ink on yellow paper.// Do you know how long it has taken me to type out these poems?” Das Gupta’s confidence and his take on poetry strike at the outset, as he writes: “I’m more obstinate than the/ underground train/ tunneling its way through the rocky ab-/ -domen of the city. I’ve been hammering away so long at/ it, sweating blood like a slave at a/ pyramid-construction site, that I don’t/ even have to try anymore: every/ word I touch metamorphoses into// poetry.”
Read the complete story, Exploring Das Gupta and his Visceral Metropolis, in Huffpost.
Maaz Bin Bilal writes about Visceral Metropolis in The Hindu BussinessLine/BLink
Uttaran Das Gupta’s verse is conversational and deals with the everyday of urban Indian landscapes and the hopes and thoughts of their citizens with an insight and a formalistic command that are rare. He writes in unobtrusive rhymes, in simple yet masterful patterns, at a time when free verse is a fad. The effect is remarkable, especially when the reader realises to her surprise that the flowing dialogues, often of lovers, are in fact written in rhyming verse, even as they carry the ease of a convivial evening spent with one’s (somewhat learned) partner in a Delhi barsati. For Das Gupta’s poems are most often about Delhi, his Visceral Metropolis; at other times, they can be about Kolkata. Always, they retain the same vivid imagery, the same easy tone.
Read the complete review, A city of awry angles, in The Hindu Business Line.