Each reading of your palm a different road
verging from soil and forking into possibilities
in a wild and foreign ocean
no vaster than the line it makes with the sky
In The Many Uses of Mint Ravi Shankar resuscitates old poetic traditions while breathing new forms into life; he translates the ancients and collaborates with living artists and writers; and he peers through spirit at the secrets of the luminous universe. His work, over time, proves that by partaking of formalism, philosophical inquiry, musicality and play, language’s wet clay can be shaped into artifacts of exceeding beauty and lasting resonance.
Here, in these new and selected poems, is all the rest of what we belong to: the frantic, shapely world of thought and thing and almost fathomless feeling. Like Wallace Stevens, Shankar manages both to mean and unsettle meaning in every other—now plain, now purple, now frank, now playful—line.
—Mark Tredinnick, author of Fire Diary and winner of the Montreal International Poetry Prize
Ravi Shankar knows how to play his chosen instrument, poetry, better than anyone, and he allows the instrument to play its soloist too.
—John Tranter, author of Urban Myths, Starlight, and Heart Starter
Ravi Shankar’s poetry is thoughtful and quotable, dense with allusion and metaphor and yet airy and light of foot. It’s a rare combination of the erudite and the approachable. Playful, erotic, witty and wise.
—Linda Jaivin, author of The Empress Lover