Winner of the 2004 Fence Modern Poets Series
Prageeta Sharma’s poems offer the modern reader an unusually modern take on modernity: “A flaw is modern for flawless.” Her effective program of whimsy, identity, and loneliness—a singularly modern loneliness, replete with the anxiety of community and the despair of belonging—transforms simple declarations and observations into the stuff of myth. “Sweet, Sweet, if human we are not quite.” These poems splice western Massachusetts with the Veda and European argyle underpants with unguarded, important sentences.
What is an exclamation but unresolved/ eagerness. Here are the roadsides over beyond the / embankment. For the 21st Century, I take off / my casual gloves to place you on my mantelpiece / and grow up. For the frost brightens the shrubs, / we lounge where the foreground meets the background. / I haven’t lost myself and I haven’t lived like this before.
—from “Famed Flights into the Interior”