Standing by the Wayside by Prem Kumari Srivastava

Friday, 22 May 2015

Published February 2015 ISBN

ISBN 978-909404-20-5


Pamphlet: stapled


Sample poem:



How much do I love?

A foolish dilemma.


Most would say.

But I know one who loved from the bottom of her heart.

Patrician and a pasha of love

ceded, sacrificed, submitted to the four that she cherished.

I wonder today after years gone by

what she did, was it right?

They, who are god’s purest gift,

become impure as the clock ticks away, recalcitrant.

The one who stands uncontaminated is SHE

In a timeless zone, uncontested

but by whom?

Force majeure

ebullient, with a brio


a punchy topicality about life even as it trundled.

A rich lode that memory will excavate.

Ruminating on another note, resignedly, miltonically

I justify the ways of God to men.

God made mothers this way,

dismembering both horizon and limit.

Dispel the query and

Love more and more.



About the Author

Prem Kumari Srivastava

A ‘Fellow’ of the Salzburg Global Seminar, Austria (2014), ‘Shastri Fellow’ of SICI and D’FAIT Canada (2010) and ‘Fellow’ Developing Countries    Research Centre, University of Delhi, Prem Kumari Srivastava, Associate Professor of English, is Programme Coordinator (HUSS), Cluster Innovation Centre, University of Delhi (on deputation from Maharaja Agrasen College). Her academic interest and published research in Cultural Studies, American Studies, English Language materials production, e-learning and theology; and creative writing (poems and stories) in books and   eminent journals such as Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi), South Asian Diaspora (Routledge), Muse India (India’s renowned e-journal), Studies in Canadian Literature (University of New Brunswick, Canada) and Religion and Gender (Ghent University, Belgium) to name a few, display an overarching focus on gender, the popular and the indigenous. Her recently published books are Leslie Fiedler: Critic, Provocateur, Pop Culture Guru (2014) McFarland, USA; co-edited volumes, Cultures of the Indigenous: India and Beyond and De-territorialising Diversities: Literatures of the Indigenous and Marginalised (2014), Authorspress, Delhi; and co-edited & co-authored Language, Literature and Creativity (2013), Orient Blackswan, Delhi. An editor and translator, and a recipient of many post doctoral fellowships and awards, Prem has edited journals such as Creative Forum, Literaria and Fortell.  She is also on the Editorial Board of these journals. She is now guest editing the September 2015 issue of the poetry journal PoetrySpace, Bristol, UK.  Having lectured at several      international universities in UK, USA, Canada, Cyprus, Austria and China, Prem’s  poems have been showcased in journals such as Muse India (2013), Poetryspace, Bristol, UK (2012), Galatea Resurrects: A Poetry   Engagement, California (2012); Kritya: a journal of poetry, New Delhi (2011, 2010); Families: a Journal of Representations, Kolkata (2011); Enchanting Verses Literary Review, India (2011) and Contemporary Literary Review, India (2011) Adrienne Rich, W B Yeats, Maya Angelou, Jayant Mahapatra and  Rabindranath Tagore are some of the poets who inspire her poetry.



Isn’t it paradoxical that the poet puts together her poems with a title such as “Standing on the Wayside” and yet in the introduction suggests that the   poems in this volume are like “entries into a journal”? But that’s what poetry is all about: on the one hand a highly personal expression and on the other, an articulation of a witnessing -somewhat objective – self. It is as if someone who is all “sewn up”, as in the poem “Seamstress”, is unwinding poem after poem! Standing on the Wayside is Prem’s first book of poems. The critic and the teacher in the poet do stand on the wayside, waiting and watching out for    poems to happen and perhaps take over!


– Sukrita (poet and critic, India)


“Prem’s poetry is intertextual and layered with echoes playfully titillating the deeper dimensions of being….how  she transplants those famous quotes from world classics into our own cultural contexts is interesting indeed…whatever is read, mulled over and internalised  definitely becomes a part of our experience and ,transplanted into another cultural context, it fractions into felt thoughts of a different breed altogether”


– Anamika, noted Indian poet