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Ayesha Chatterjee ’91

Alumnae Poet

Ayesha Chatterjee

Ayesha Chatterjee is the author of two poetry collections, The Clarity of Distance, and Bottles and Bones. Her work has appeared in journals across the world and been translated into French and Slovene. Chatterjee is past president of the League of Canadian Poets and chair of the League’s Feminist Caucus. She is also poetry advisor to Exile magazine, a Canadian quarterly dedicated to the visual and literary arts. She lives in Toronto. (Photo Credit: Rajeshta Julatum)

Select Poems

While we’re on the subject,

let’s talk about the walls, Mr A.,

let’s count them, make sure they’re

all there and in perfect working order.

They’re the arms of the thing, after all.

The beat, the rhythm, the silent drum.

They’re the white telephones of this whole shebeen,

the moonshine, if you will, the show

of confidence.

And I am confident, Mr A., that every wall,

concave or convex, will portray what you

want it to, buon fresco or secco finto, lotus

or fish or green goddess microchipped into

metamorphosis. You can plaster your peacock feathers

and cure your luck, for good or evil. Soak up

the sap and nurture the essence.

Okay, there are twenty-one of them. Twenty-one

is a good number, I feel. They’ll hold.


(Previously published on British poet Abegail Morley’s iconic blog The Poetry Shed)