Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Eunice de Souza: 1940-2017

Eunice de Souza died on the 29th of July. She would have been 77 yesterday. 

It was early-ish morning when I got the news and soon, as happens, twitter and my mail box were busy with sharing memories, photographs and of course, poems.

There have been some lovely, sharp obituaries - sharp in the sense of having in common with Eunice, her cool self-possession and absence of humbug. I'm thinking, especially, of Rochelle Pinto's tribute in Scroll. It's striking how many writers Eunice has taught, and how unforgettable she has been to others who have only a slight relationship to poetry or literature.

I was not among her students, but when I was at Sophia SCM, nearly all of my Bombay friends had until very recently, been in her class. This next sentence will make no sense to nearly everyone reading this, but if there was, as we were discovering there was, a Jeroo type, there was, as surely a Eunice type. 


So there have been tributes. Though I didn't know her personally, I knew her through her poetry, anthologies, and academic writing. So I have contributed to this tide of thoughts on Eunice de Souza:

The Hindu's Mumbai edition has a full page tribute in the form of poems and brief notes by ten poets, and I am among those.

There's also a short essay on Raiot

I would like to read something by someone on her relationship which animals which, as many know was deep and lasting; but I feel there's more to know.


Vincent said...

I guess this one is yours:

From you I learnt
to winnow words
give them room to breathe
silence in which to grow

A single flower
at a difficult summer's end
will bloom fiercely
and for a long time.

This I learn from you today and find it relevant, as if an angel's wing has brushed my face with reassurance. I have rather a lot of words to winnow, they need weeding.

It is a lovely poem. I'd like to see more of yours.

Space Bar said...

Thanks, Vincent. Yes, that one is my poem. :-)