Sujata Bhatt

po_Bhatt-Sujata3bSujata Bhatt (born May 6, 1956) is an Indian poet, a native speaker of Gujarati. Sujata Bhatt was born in Ahmedabad, and brought up in Pune, India until 1968, when she emigrated to the United States with her family.

She received the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia) and the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award for her first collection Brunizem. She received a Cholmondeley Award in 1991 and the Italian Tratti Poetry Prize in 2000.

She has translated Gujarati poetry into English for the Penguin Anthology of Contemporary Indian Women Poets. Combining both Gujarati and English, Bhatt writes “Indian-English rather than Anglo-Indian poetry. “Her poems have appeared in various journals in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, and Canada, and have been widely anthologized, as well as being broadcast on British, German, and Dutch radio.

Many of Bhatt’s poems have themes of love and violence. She explores issues such as racism and the interaction between Asian, European, and North American culture.

WHITE ASPARAGUS
Sujata Bhatt

Who speaks of the strong currents
streaming through the legs, the breasts
of a pregnant woman
in her fourth month?

She’s young, this is her first time,
she’s slim and the nausea has gone.
Her belly’s just starting to get rounder
her breasts itch all day,

and she’s surprised that what she wants
is him
inside her again.
Oh come like a horse, she wants to say,
move like a dog, a wolf,
become a suckling lion-cub—

Come here, and here, and here—
but swim fast and don’t stop.

Who speaks of the green coconut milk that seals
her well, yet flows so she is wet
from his softest touch?

Who understands the logic
behind this desire?
Who speaks of the rushing tide
that awakens
her slowly increasing blood—?
And the hunger
raw obsessions beginning
with the shape of asparagus:
sun-deprived white and purple-shadow-veined,
she buys three kilos
of the fat ones, thicker than anyone’s fingers,
she strokes the silky heads,
some are so jauntily capped…
even the smell pulls her in—