Reaching For Stones: Collected Poems (1963-2009)

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Chandran Nair’s poetry has been described as impressing with its “versatility and hard brilliance of style” as well as providing an important study of how growing up in Singapore with an English education and Chinese, Indian and Malay influences shape points of view in poetry in English. The poems reveal a real and not “a revolving man” in the words of one reviewer, while another feels that the poems succeed not merely through technical competence but also because “he writes with feeling. It is his feelings that we see most of the time, a kaleidoscope of changing emotions and events through which Mr Nair stands unchanged, unyielding and uncompromised”.

The 101 poems in this collection represent two volumes of poetry, Once the Horsemen and Other poems (1972) and After the Hard Hours, This Rain (1975) as well as poems since published in journals and anthologies in many countries and not collected into book form. They provide an interesting glimpse into the post colonial literature in English of Singapore and Malaysia.



Reaching For Stones: Collected Poems (1963-2009)

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"A master wordsmith, Nair’s language is clear and concise, trimming out the superfluous yet not compromising on the lyricism that words have to offer. He focuses not on the fancifulness of each individual text on the paper but the complexity of weaving each line and stanza to form a neatly stitched fabric of written communication, syntax and rhythm. The poems shaped under his careful craftsmanship are accessible to the average reader; yet elaborate enough to satisfy a literary enthusiast. Chandran Nair allows his readers to sneak a glimpse of his private life, making the book an extremely intimate experience... Reaching for Stones: Collected Poems (1963 – 2009), might just be the book that will cause strangers to poetry to fall in love with the English language all over again." - The Urban Wire


Chandran Nair