Dreams of the Sacred and Ephemeral


In Dreams of the Sacred and Ephemeral, acclaimed poet Kiriti Sengupta brings his latest three books together into a single definitive collection that is both outwardly sweeping in its breadth and inwardly meditative. Across the three collections — My Glass of Wine, The Reverse Tree, and Healing Waters Floating Lamps — Sengupta showcases a rare skill as a poet. His ability to oscillate between the delicate nuances of the lyric and the metadiscursive ruminations of prose shows a writer and thinker engaged in a pursuit of the highest wisdom in the humblest of places. As such, Dreams of the Sacred and Ephemeral is a meditative journey. As Dr. Casey Dorman puts it in his review from The Statesman, “The journey is one that draws the reader further and further into personal reflection … from the world around us into the inner self. Worldly observations become the occasion for explorations of meanings: of the self and its status within the world and within consciousness, and of life’s journey from birth to death.” Sengupta’s groundbreaking trilogy offers poems for the questioning mind, the beating heart, and the soul.

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Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 21 × 13 × 1 in




Page Count


Hawakal Publishers

Release Date

14 April 2017

Press Reviews

I really do not know if CP Surendran’s stand-alone books Canaries on the Moon, Portraits of the Space We Occupy and Posthumous Poems can be roped into the pattern of trilogy, or, for that matter, Kamala Das’ well-known volumes, but here we have Kiriti Sengupta who is bold enough to make a clean breast of his three books, viz., My Glass of Wine, The Reverse Tree, and Healing Waters Floating Lamps as a trilogy titled Dreams of the Sacred and Ephemeral. Trilogies in Indian English novels are common, we can foremost thank Amitav Ghosh for that, but for a trilogy in Indian English poetry, Kiriti Sengupta deserves mention, and also my extended hand for a warm handshake. — Muse India


It’s interesting to note that the poet tries to contain universe in a circle drawn by him that but consumes him as within that watery circumference he reaches the ultimate divinity even though it doesn’t last for a long time, but henceforth rushes as a rivulet inside the poet gushing out in his verses now and then. —The New Indian Express


The title of Sengupta’s poetic trilogy, Dreams of the Sacred and Ephemeral, seems to embody a paradox. Can that which is ephemeral or transient also be considered as sacred? However, we realize that life itself is both, and the trilogy is ultimately an extended, implicit metaphor of life. The book is a pioneer venture by Hawakal Publishers, as it is the first trilogy of its kind in India, blending both prose and poetry. It is a refreshingly unique look at life through the lens of literature. The first book, My Glass of Wine, covers a variety of interesting topics in prose and captures their essence through interspersed poetry. The Reverse Tree is a more profound exploration of life, its experiences, and the invaluable lessons learnt from those experiences. Healing Waters Floating Lamps is a volume of spiritual poetry infused with pure magic. —Cafe Dissensus


The trilogy, Dreams of the Sacred and the Ephemeral, in spite of crisscrossing through genres of prosimetrum, life-writing and poetry-picture book, emerges finally as a book of verses. Even in the prose section, the poet persona of the author remains. He is bold in his choice of genres and presents us with a unique composition. The crossover genre of this work enriches it and liberates it from the traditional compartmentalisation that we otherwise find in literature. This work therefore compels its readers to move beyond the comfort zone of all the established norms of a poetry anthology and creates a distinctive place for itself in contemporary literature. —Amethyst Review


The first two books are predominantly prose work, but never prosaic, and the third is just poetry … They are simple thoughts, expressed simply, taken from the author’s life and showing his growth and development as a poet. The first two volumes put context to the poems that follow. It is autobiographical and provides a smooth intimacy of the world of Sengupta.—The Statesman



Sengupta has also dealt with the reversal of the so-called concepts of sex and sexuality. He has raised some pertinent questions regarding the transgenders, Lara being the mouthpiece. The story of betrayal, her desire and the aversion of society towards homosexuality, lesbianism — all these burning issues bear a poetic resonance in the pen of Sengupta. “You will call it fetish, I guess … I need some cologne as I step out of my home … odor that is mine … physical … deceptive.” Sex and sexuality are the areas rarely discussed within the arena of family members and this self-imposed taboo often bears perilous consequences. While reading the poems in the trilogy, the readers might be reminded of the overtly sexual references.—The Lake

About Author

“A poet learns language, diction, style, etc. with time. It is a continuous journey towards realising the demands of the language one writes in—yes, it is primarily the language that aids in the making of the poet. You can read other poets, several books of poetry; however, you have to grasp the nuances of the language to grow up as a wordsmith. And to understand the nuances better you have to sleep with what you study. How I have evolved from my one book to another, in terms of style, contents, etc., is a subject to be explored by critics, and I have been blessed with such discourses by many scholars over the last few years. But to answer your question, I primarily aim to create “jerks” in my poetry; my intention, sans the opinion of the reader, is to jolt, him or her, out of stasis and wake up to maybe a line, a word or a sense that is completely new.” —Cha


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