The Lumber Room

"Consign them to dust and damp by way of preserving them"

Indian names

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When The New York Times carried a routine notice about a book in 1961, John Updike, then 29, was so impressed by the author’s name that he wrote a poem about it:

I Missed His Book, But I Read His Name

“The Silver Pilgrimage,” by M. Anantanarayanan. . . . 160 pages.
Criterion. $3.95.      —The Times

Though authors are a dreadful clan
To be avoided if you can,
I’d like to meet the Indian,
M. Anantanarayanan.

I picture him as short and tan.
We’d meet, perhaps, in Hindustan.
I’d say, with admirable élan,
“Ah, Anantanarayanan —

I’ve heard of you. The Times once ran
A notice on your novel, an
Unusual tale of God and Man.”
And Anantanarayanan

Would seat me on a lush divan
And read his name — that sumptuous span
Of ‘a’s and ‘n’s more lovely than
“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan” —

Aloud to me all day. I plan
Henceforth to be an ardent fan
of Anantanarayanan —
M. Anantanarayanan.

(Also on Youtube)

Written by S

Mon, 2011-03-21 at 09:53:43

Posted in funny

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