Sent a Letter

So I found a book of poetry in my local used bookstore. Normally, I am not the poetry kinda gal, but this one was a beautiful object.

It is the twenty-fifth printing of a book titled Fireflies by a man named Rabindranath Tagore, a Nobel Prize winning author who I had never heard of. The book set in Linotype by Brown Brothers Linotypers with floral illustrations adorning each page. I have started to mark some of the page of the passages as they strike me. Two pages in particular, shown here with the illustrations, read:

Memory, the priestess,
kills the present and offers its heart to the shrine of the dead

From the solemn gloom of the temple
children run out to sit in the dust,
God watches them play
and forgets the priest.

© Dayanita Singh
The afore mentioned book's presence in my life just so happens to coincide with my discovery of a lovely book of photographs by Indian photographer Dayanita Singh titled Sent a Letter. This little jewel is in seven small books with a wrap around slipcase. Many of the bound accordion-fold books, based on Singh's own diaries, contain her photos from around her home country of India: Allahabad, Padmanabhapuram, Varanasi, Devigarh, Bombay, and Calcutta (Tagore's birthplace). The final book in the series is titled Nony Singh with photos of Dayanita growing up.
I am usually have an aversion to forcing meaning with words, particularly poetry, on photographs, but not always using photographs to illustrate words. Maybe these ideas are the same, but I can pick out a passage from Tagore's book and easily find the small quiet photo to illuminate the words.

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