Friday, December 21, 2018


Mustansir Dalvi

Published by Poetrywala,
an imprint of Paperwall Media & Publishing Pvt. Ltd.

ISBN-10: 9382749829
ISBN-13: 978-9382749820

Price: Rs.400
Available at Kitab Khana Mumbai, 
and online at paperwall and on amazon (Click on links)

'Cosmopolitician' in the press and media
(click on titles)

‘Cosmopolitician’: Eight poems by Mustansir Dalvi that merge dreams and reality
In his second book of poetry, the translator and poet defies expectations of style and thought. Nov 05, 2018

The architect who writes poetry
The annual Goa Arts and Literature Festival, which begins on December 6 has attracted several literary figures over the past nine years. Mustansir Dalvi has been one poet who has felt a deep connection that keeps him coming back. 
The Nav Hind Times, Goa  December 5, 2018

Advance praise for 'Cosmopolitician':

Cosmopolitician comes across like a force of nature, a conscious avalanche – and we are in its path. Juicy meat aplenty here for those of us who languish in the hospice for malnourished readers.’ 
– Gabriel Rosenstock, author of I Open My Poem, Where Light Begins and The Naked Octopus    

‘In his latest book Cosmopolitician, Mustansir Dalvi counters the outside world with poems seldom seen in the work of other poets. In seven sections; poems dealing with the larger scheme of life are conveyed in weighted words that are prevented from sinking by the structure and content into which they are placed. He is able to explore a wide range of styles and emotions that carry the reader away. And, as deep into the personal world as literature can take us: “My name is mud, / gold runs in my veins, grouting an imperfect dam that holds.”’ 
– Jayanta Mahapatra, author of Sky Without Sky, A False Start and A Rain of Rites 

‘Mustansir Dalvi’s verse is full of the unexpected, and keeps clear of the predictable. The imagination is taken for a delightful tour, with witty encounters on the way. By no means does this signify in any sense a lessening of serious and purposeful thought. Dalvi is capable of taking one through turbulent experiences with gravity.’ 
– Gieve Patel, author of How Do You Withstand, Body and Mirrored, Mirroring   

‘In his own way of sketching the world’s architecture, the poet offers us another reading for almost every cosmo-thing. As we do not need hands to bear the burden of this world, we get enough messages to do so in Mustansir Dalvi’s poems. A mega-project – to mix dreams with reality, houses with museums, scientists with caliphs, the banks of the Ganga with the Nile, joy with wars, Arabian Nights with Indian Days!’ 
– Ashraf Aboul-Yazid, author of The Memory of Silence and The Whisper of the Sea


there’s a hunger in houses
Our Lady of Didarganj
Casa Batlló
No one really walks here to know
Macaroons in Marseilles
The hospice for malnourished poets
Dreams of falling
Closing windows
My Room
There’s a hunger in houses

if we should cease to correspond
You said you would kill it this morning
If we should cease to correspond
Sunken Ship
Light reading
Just for a shining second, then
The fate of hour

where life stops being a city
Sadashiva (eternal Shiva), Elephanta
The Great Kiln
Where life stops being a city
Candy Floss
Eudynamys Scolopaceus
Peltophorum Pterocarpum
Sandhurst Road
Glass within a glass
Last day in a lived-in house

the lunes of ibn al-Haytham
The Nile gazes back at ibn al-Haytham
Ibn al-Haytham impersonates himself
Ibn al-Haytham hedges his bets
The lunes of ibn al-Haytham
Ibn al-Haytham invents the camera

why someone needed to kick the infant Kafka in the balls
Janus takes a selfie
Filled vessels make joyful noise
Why someone needed to kick the infant Kafka in the balls
1969, July
Coins, watches and teeth
At a wake
Prayer can change your fate, too
Song of Songs

Morgina’s daughters
Shock and awe
Two in the bush
A black sequined scarf
Tabula rasa
Morgina’s daughters
So they gave a war
Khan Murjan
Judgments in carpets

a pashmina sky
Swimming with peacocks
Wedding Baraat, Patan
Slow Home
Square Sun


About the poet

Mustansir Dalvi is an anglophone poet, translator and editor. 

His poems are included in the anthologies: These My Words: The Penguin Book of Indian Poetry (Eunice de Souza and Melanie Silgardo, editors); Mind Mutations (Sirrus Poe, editor); The Bigbridge Online Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry (Menka Shivdasani, editor); The Dance of the Peacock: An Anthology of English Poetry from India (Vivekanand Jha, editor); To Catch a Poem: An Anthology of Poetry for Young People (Sahitya Akademi, Jane Bhandari and Anju Makhija, editors); and The Enchanting Verses Literary Review (online, Abhay K, editor). Brouhahas of Cocks is his first book of poems in English published by Poetrywala in 2013. His poems have been translated into French, Croatian and Marathi.

Mustansir Dalvi’s 2012 English translation of Muhammad Iqbal’s influential Shikwa and Jawaab-e-Shikwa from the Urdu as Taking Issue and Allah’s Answer (Penguin Classics) has been described as ‘insolent and heretical’ and makes Iqbal’s verse accessible to the modern reader. This book was awarded Runner Up for Best Translation at the Muse India National Literary Award in 2012. His translations of the Sufi mystic poet Rahim are published in the anthology Eating God: a Book of Bhakti Poetry (Arundhati Subramanium, editor). Mustansir Dalvi has translated the poems of Hemant Divate from the Marathi in struggles with imagined gods published by Poetrywala in 2014. He is the editor of Man without a Navel a collection of new and selected translations of Hemant Divate’s poems from the Marathi (2018, Poetrywala).

Mustansir Dalvi was born in Bombay. He teaches architecture in Mumbai.