The Constant Art
It’s true my love’s a paid up fashion victim.
Her hair, for a start, each morn is blandly ironed
glossy down her back; her nails are on nails
(embedded with gems) though when in heated kiss
they’ll sometimes stay there hanging in my neck.
Yet she’s no bendu dumbo reared on farms
to wrestle bulls, her battle’s with tash and arms
she’ll wax; but when I see her cut by friends
for wearing last year’s cut, I think of times
I’ve worn my heart at sleeve and that’s not cool.
O love, these things are forging fickle youth!
Let’s drop our guard for goods that rarely lie,
monuments like sonnets that will age
their solid lines in us to save our face.
Daljit Nagra comes from a Punjabi background. He was born and raised in London then Sheffield. He has won several prestigious prizes for his poetry. In 2004, he won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem with Look We Have Coming to Dover! This was also the title of his first collection which was published by Faber & Faber in 2007. This won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and The South Bank Show Decibel Award, and was nominated for The Costa Prize, The Guardian First Book Prize, the Aldeburgh Prize and the Glen Dimplex Award.
Daljit’s poems have been published in New Yorker, Atlantic Review, London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Review, Poetry London, Poetry International, Rialto and The North.
He has performed at venues such as Banff, Calgary, Toronto, Bratislava, Galle, Mumbai, Delhi, Orkney, Belfast, Dublin, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Heidelberg, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Ty Newydd and many places in England.
Daljit is on the Board of the Poetry Book Society. He has judged the Samuel Johnson Award 2008, The Guardian First Book Prize 2008, The Foyles Young Poets Competition 2008, The National Poetry Competition 2009. He has also hosted the TS Eliot Poetry Readings 2009.
He is the Lead Poetry Tutor at The Faber Academy and has run workshops all over the world.
He is a regular contributor to BBC radio and has written articles for The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Observer, The Times of India. Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!! is his most current collection.