To Savor and Be Savored: Four Short Pieces by Pavithra Mehta
by R. Whittaker, Sep 6, 2022
Pavithra Mehta has an uncommon gift with language. Her writings bring the substance of her experience to vivid life in ways we recognize (if not in particular, then in essence) so well we're made not only glad, but grateful.
We’re reminded, in fact, of what inspired language can do. The thought calls to mind a favorite quote from Gertrude Stein who experimented so dramatically with language: “Now listen! Can’t you see that when the language was new—as it was with Chaucer and Homer—the poet could use the name of a thing and the thing was really there? He could say ‘O Moon’ ‘O Sea’ ‘O Love’ and the moon and the sea and love were really there. And can’t you see that after hundreds of years had gone by and thousands of poems had been written he could call on those words and find that they were just worn out literary words? The excitingness of pure being had withdrawn from them… Now the poet has to work in the excitingness of pure being.” (from Four In America)
Well, that's a high bar. But surely worth pondering. Language can, at its best and informed with vision, bring one close to "the excitingness of pure being."
Am I going a little overboard here? Maybe, but I'm a big fan of Pavithra Mehta's writing. In this little collection you’ll find doors have been opened that, I’ll hazard to guess, you’ll gladly pass through and afterwards, feel edified and refreshed.
Welcome, dear reader, to issue #52 of our newsletter - a special edition! – R. Whittaker
About the Author
Richard Whittaker is the founding editor of works & conversations and West Coast editor of Parabola magazine.
Pavithra Mehta is a writer and poet, coordinator of DailyGood, and a contributing editor for works & conversations.