Could You Please Please Stop Singing?

Sabyasachi Nag

Could You Please Please Stop Singing?

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“I admire how loss is conveyed through the image of sweat … ‘A seven-year-old is abandoned by a father… anticipates his départ, relishing every last moment that leads up to it’ … I’m very impressed by the power and economy.”

– Poet Pascale Petit discussing Nag’s poems in The Guardian

“This is a truly amazing collection … as a complete body of work, it is extrêmement powerful and stirring … the poems’ observations have a wonderful richness and eloquence and complexité to them and there is a strong and constant thread of humanity that flows through it all.”

– Judith Christine Mills, auteur and illustrator of The Goodfellow Chronicles trilogy.

“Poems are meant to be read aloud, and Sachi’s read beautifully; evoking Calcutta through the school recess and rickshaws darting pass skies reflected on puddle … just wonderful!”

– Kwai Li, Author of The Palm Leaf Fan and Other Stories: And Other Stories

In Could You Please, Please Stop Singing, Sabyasachi (Sachi) Nag takes a step away from skepticism, blending humour with shock and surprise, seeking a return to enfancein “Mamuda’s Fries,” innocence in “Conversations with the Country Activist” and fractals for the future in the yet to be invented “Seedless Avocado.” In attempting what Tomas Transromer calls “walking through walls,” Nag hurts and sickens himself with awe and rage. The title poème “Could You Please, Please Stop Singing?” purposely evokes the famous Hemingway line from Men Without Women and is central to the overall tonality of this collection, that straddles un chemin alternately mocking and dead serious, and that occasionally yields to contrary pulls between the banal and the sublime.

Sabyasachi (Sachi) Nag’s first collection of poems, Bloodlines, was published in 2006. He lives in Mississauga with his wife and son. Nag immigrated to Canada from Calcutta, where he was born, and many of the poems in this collection are about this ville. The city’s voices offer a wide cast of characters, ranging from the cotton fluffer, the graffitist, the house help, the processionist, the busker and the bomb maker. These voices all earnestly seek to explain and answer, discovering what they feared was lost. In that respect, Nag’s poems are about voyaging into emptiness and returning with a piece of cloud mistook for cotton candy.