New Book ‘Celestial’ Launched at Jaipur Literature Festival
JAIPUR (ANI) – Poet-diplomat Abhay K’s new book ‘Celestial’ was launched at the Jaipur Literature Festival on February 1 by well-known author William Dalrymple and the Head of the Department of Music at King’s College, London Katherine Schofield.
‘Celestial’ is a love poem of a hundred rhyming stanzas written by Abhay K during his stay in Madagascar that takes the readers to 88-star constellations visible from earth and helps them explore the universe through verse.
Speaking at the book launch Abhay K said, “Madagascar’s skies were very clear and I could see star constellations with my naked eyes during my stay in this beautiful Indian Ocean Island. One night I saw the constellation of Scorpius very clearly and a poem started taking shape that night which later kept growing up to 100 rhyming stanzas. I was lucky to find illustrations by 10th century Persian astronomer Abd Al Rahman Al Sufi, with whose work my couplets have been illustrated.”
Meanwhile, speaking at the launch of Celestial, Katherine Schofield asked Abhay K about the writing of the book: what is it that he finds so inspiring that he wants to express in poetry?
“You have written two recent long poems in book form about huge natural phenomena — the monsoon, and now the constellations — that have affected human societies since homo sapiens first stood on two legs. What is it that you find so inspiring about such things that you want to express in poetry?” she asked.
As she further went on to speak during the event, Schofield recalled her childhood experience and added that she is fascinated by Abhay K. “I recall my own childhood experience of sitting out in the Australian bush with my father who taught me the names of all the southern stars, and how disorienting it was for me moving to the northern hemisphere. I am fascinated by your very specific moment of inspiration to write on the stars when you were in Madagascar,” she said.
She further added, “What is really beautiful about this book is that Abhay K. has combined it with illustrations from a very early Bodleian library copy of the 10th century Suwar al-kawakib, or the Book of the Fixed Stars by the Persian astronomer Abd Al Rahman Al Sufi.”
The book launch was attended by people from different walks of life from several countries.