Translated by Jennifer Rathbun
ISBN: 978-1-944884-92-5 (pbk.)
(July 25, 2021, Preorders available)
Blue Window/Ventana Azul captures modern love in all of its contradictory emotions, expressed online, face to face, and in memory. The poems speak to all of our love entanglements and any reader can identify with the love and loss poured into these pages. Acclaimed Chilean poet laureate Raúl Zurita says: “Indran Amirthanayagam, as an immigrant of the language, has not only rendered that language a magisterial book, Blue Window, but also a poem, “Illusion”, that is amongst the most moving love poems in the history of Spanish.” In these times of the pandemic, where all over the world we have developed a new relationship to the window, among windows, on a Zoom screen with Cyrano moved from the street outside to every windowsill, wherever the internet has travelled, on fiber optic cables set deep into the oceans, on internet balloons flying over large swatches of jungle and brush, bringing people the world over to hear poems of love and loss and love renewed, we give you Blue Window/Ventana Azul.
Praise for Blue Window
Indran Amirthanayagam, as an immigrant of the language, has not only rendered that language a magisterial book, Blue Window, but also a poem, “Illusion”, that is amongst the most moving love poems in the history of Spanish.
—Raúl Zurita, Chilean National Prize for Literature 2000
In our time, it’s rare to find poets still writing about the glory of romantic love. A noble tradition, from Sappho to Neruda, seemed to be exhausted. But the poems in Blue Window read like a gift the Muse has handed down to Indran Amirthanayagam.
—Jaime Manrique, author of Cervantes Street
Indran Amirthanayagam is Euripides, Pirandello, Liza Minelli, Bart Simpson, Paul Gauguin in Polynesia, Tom (and Jerry) Brady, Pico della Mirandola, Neruda, Saint Augustine, Joe Namath, Joe Biden, Joe Walsh, Anne Sexton, Robert Lowell, Ozzie Osbourne, Clark Kent, Chance the Rapper, Josephine Baker, Benjamin Franklin, Dolly Parton, Pelé, Nelson Mandela, Cantinflas, Howard Hughes, Langston Hughes, Edna St. Vincent Millay, RuPaul, Allen Ginsberg, Banksy, Steve Jobs, Woody Guthrie, Walt Disney & Walt Whitman. One of the most undervalued poets of our times….
—Eduardo Espina, author of The Milli Vanilli Condition: Essays on Culture in the New Millennium
In Blue Window, Indran Amirthanayagam has developed a personal poetic cartography, a geography of dilated air in the shadows. The poetic voice evokes, conjures, and converses with people, moments, places…. This volume is a book of farewells, dialogues interrupted by distance, but continued in these pages that were life and are now maps, logbooks of travel, of poetry.
—Carlos Aguasaco, author of The New York City Subway Poems
In a world where love fools, disillusions, and lures us back again and again, Indran Amirthanayagam teaches us how to survive—not like vultures, “the birds of prey/ [that] bite, claw/ tear out our eyes,” but like “the other birds/ in the same sky,/ birds, angels, guardians” that show us another, gentler, way. In this seamlessly translated collection, we are reminded of the sustaining power of poetry during times of solitude and longing before love finds us again.
—Nancy Naomi Carlson, author of An Infusion of Violets, Senior Translation Editor, Tupelo Quarterly
Talk about love, with regard to the body, be it human, terrestrial or universal. Everything is possible with this great poet. The enjambment of his couplets runs comfortably, even between stanzas, as if he were leaving us on the edge of the abyss to return to the next stanza. This is a breathless, multifaceted voice. The arrow shoots, the pitchfork will collect his remains, and he will come to terms with “the dilemma of how to survive, while the birds of prey bite, claw, tear out our eyes.” And yet, in spite of it all, the blue window persists. It shines before all hopelessness.
—Ana Guillot, Argentine Author
From his native Sri Lanka Indran Amirthanayagan has come to settle in the Americas, where he has assumed Spanish and English to express himself, and it seems that we are reading a native Hispanic American.
On his arch-dark side, Indran’s pen practically crumbles visible reality, and does so with such stubbornness the poetic voice becomes one more component of the routine environment. And in the midst of the stylistic darkness we come across some recurring aspects, the whole of which constitutes the backbone of these pages.
In the first place, love—as always happens—then the awareness of the poetic act, which is a frequent topic in Hispanicy-American poetry; and, finally, black humor, probably inherited indirectly from the surrealists. Not by mere whim but dictated by our inner kingdom, we say that the poem “Reborn” is the text that we like infinitely, of course, for its metaphysical echoes.
—Carlos Germán Belli, Peruvian Poet
The most persuasive characteristic about Amirthanayagam is that he makes us take his mirages as our own and invites us to play with them. The profoundest: taking some of his shortcuts and coming out to the other side pure, as if we were just about to be born.
—Pedro Granados, Peruvian Poet
This is, without a doubt, the best poetry book Indran Amirthanayagam has ever written. Although it’s still loaded with sadness and nostalgia, the beauty is not hidden. I congratulate Indran for his persistence in the romantic genre and for continuing to talk about love as when he was forty years younger.
—Alfonso Elizondo, Mexican Author