by Yuyutsu Sharma
“The world-renowned Himalayan poet”
“Like “globes of light” along a narrow path through “blind night,” these syncopating couplets offer neither escape nor absolution, but something more tangible for “bleary-eyed wanderers”: Company along the way.”
“Yuyutsu Sharma should be known as The Himalayan Neruda”
“Yuyutsu Sharma is one of the finest poets on planet earth”
—American poet Sean Thomas Dougherty, author, The Second O of Sorrow
Lost Horoscope is a grand poem of loss, healing and recovery in the Covid times by Himalayan poet Yuyutsu Sharma. The title poem captures, in words of American poet James Ragan, “an enlarged memory of his childhood and his creative will to recover and rediscover what healing eternal truths lay, lost and buried in our collective unconscious decades and centuries ago.”
The book also showcases 13 new poems that Yuyutsu wrote before the Pandemic and bear testimony to his evolution as a poet, celebrating diversity of multiple forms and faith. Here folk imagination fuses with the personal histories to recreate his encounters with the wayward shadows of his relentless travels around the globe: a young woman revealing her actual age in a Chengdu bar, a lost lover on the flagstone steps of the Annapurna’s steepest climb, a stranger’s request to compose a poem at a birthday party in a San Francisco, a scorpion scar on the marble shoulder of an Australian interpreter in Beijing Book bar, the sighting of jasmine flowers at Vishnu’s alter at a Boston Art Exhibit, a hillside grandma’s advice revealing the wisdom of eating ants to improve eyesight and a demon child on a giant swing ready to unhinge the hunger of the huddled huts in the high Himalayas. In the final poem, the poet reminisces on his life wondering where the story of his travels around the world would come to an end.
These powerful, humane and heart-rendering poems composed in the heat and hush of Yuyutsu’s travels are true jasmine jewels of the modern-day wisdom restored to seek solace in our turbulent times. Another tour de force from the maestro who makes his living as a poet and wears his world and his vocation like his coat to create eternal gems of the contemporary times.
“I feel unable to praise Yuyutsu Sharma’s new collection adequately. I think of Whitman, Neruda, Lorca. Sharma is a fever and river, at moments a rhapsody and the gods sing through him even his workshop is messy. Yuyutsu Sharma should be known as The Himalayan Neruda not only for the torrents of images and compassion and outrage in his poetry but for the range of his subjects, themes and imagery. Reading him I feel as I do when reading Neruda that he could make first rate poetry out of anything, as he ranges like a vartic voice of the Himalayas through the natural beauties of Nepal and cities of the world.”
—Mike Graves, American poet and teacher, City University of New York, author, A Prayer for the Less Violent Offenders
“A mini epic of recovered and enlarged memory.”
—Robert Scotto, Author, Imagined Secrets, Professor, Baruch College
“There’s a brilliance in the mind of the poet whose imagination created this gem of a poem out of the “crumpled calendar of chaos,” aptly called the “Lost Horoscope.” I was hypnotically immersed in the structure of steps that each stanza offered, hurling the reader down into memory, into the “wingless realm of illogical proclamations” and the resultant “wasteful heap of despair,” while seeking “solace, sleep, and salvation” to arrive at the epiphany that “perhaps all those prophesies were true.” Like an Eliot poem, to gain the enlightenment inherent in this poem, you must read the poem again to capture the nuance and metaphysics of the allusions connecting each image, each stanza, to recover the revelatory “medley of omens” leading to the abyss of “imminent doom.” One must journey, “sight fractured,” through the “moldy world of rickety realities” –typhoid, covid– while “humming the prayers, drenched in the Monsoon showers of the Himalayan valleys rolling in the world of spirits and sages.” Like the poet, one must risk the life of his creative will to recover and rediscover what healing eternal truths lay, lost and buried in our collective unconscious decades and centuries ago… a magnificent sight-healing journey.” — James Ragan, the Emerson Poetry Prize, NEA Fellowship, the Swan Foundation Humanitarian Award
Recipient of fellowships and grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, Ireland Literature Exchange, Trubar Foundation, Slovenia, The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature, Yuyutsu Ram Dass Sharma is a world renowned Himalayan poet and translator.
He has published ten poetry collections including, The Second Buddha Walk, A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems, Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems, Nepal Trilogy, Space Cake, Amsterdam and Annapurna Poems. Four books of his poetry have appeared in French, Spanish and Slovenian.
Widely traveled author, he has read his works at several prestigious places including Seamus Heaney Center for Poetry, Belfast, P.E.N, Paris, Whittier College, California, WB Yeats’ Center, Sligo, Gustav Stressemann Institute, Bonn, Rubin Museum, New York, Cosmopoetica, Cordoba, Spain, The Irish Writers’ Centre, Dublin, Lu Xun Literary Institute, Beijing, The Guardian Newsroom, London, Trois Rivieres Poetry Festival, Quebec, FIP, Buenos Aires, Slovenian Book Days, Ljubljana, Royal Society of Dramatic Arts, London, Gunter Grass House, Bremen, International Poetry Festival, Granada, Nicaragua, Nehru Center, London, Beijing Normal University, March Hare, Newfoundland, Canada, London Olympics 2012, Frankfurt Book Fair, and Villa Serbelloni, Italy.
He has held workshops in creative writing and translation at Queen’s University, Belfast, University of Ottawa and South Asian Institute, Heidelberg University, Beijing Open University, New York University, New York and Columbia University, New York.
In 2020, his work was showcased at Royal Kew Gardens in an Exhibit, “Travel the World at Kew.” Half the year, he travels and reads all over the world and conducts Creative Writing workshops at various universities in North America and Europe but goes trekking in the Himalayas when back home.
Currently, Yuyutsu Sharma edits Pratik: A Quarterly Magazine of Contemporary Writing.