River Poems

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Author: Mamang DaiA sample cover of the book: midnight blue handloom sari with gold embossed nameplate and lettering for the title and author's name. The border of the sari lines the right hand margin of the cover.
Pages: 92
Year of Publication: First published 2004, second revised and expanded edition 2013, Reprint 2023
Price: Rs 400
978-93-5045-065-9 (9789350450659)

About the Author
Mamang Dai is a poet and novelist from Pasighat, East Siang District, Arunachal Pradesh. A former member of the Indian Administrative Service, she chose to pursue a career in journalism and was a correspondent for the Hindustan Times, The Telegraph and The Sentinel. She has also worked with World Wildlife Fund in Itanagar for the Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspots programme. In 2003, Dai received the state’s Verrier Elwin Award for her book Arunachal Pradesh – The Hidden Land, that documented the culture and customs of the state. Her other books include The Legends of Pensam, Stupid Cupid (novels), El bálsamo del tiempo – The balm of time (a bilingual poetry volume), Mountain Harvest – The Food of Arunachal and Once upon a Moon Time (illustrated folklore for young readers). She has featured on several national and international forums and her writing has been published in various journals and anthologies. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2011 for her contribution in the field of literature and education. Dai lives in Itanagar.

About the Book
This edition comprises the same poems that were present in the first edition except for minor corrections and punctuation changes made by the author. One poem, ‘Egret River’, has been added; this was written some time in 1992-93 and thus belongs to the time period when the other poems in this collection were written.



We are the children of the rain
of the cloud woman,
brother to the stone and bat
in our cradle of bamboo and vine
in our long houses we slept,
and when morning came
we were refreshed.

There were no strangers
in our valley.
Recognition was instant
as clan by clan we grew,
and destiny was simple
like a green shoot
following direction
like the sun and moon.

The first drop of water
gave birth to man.
From red sheath
to green stem
and the spreading wind:

We descend
from solitude and miracles.

52 poems

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