2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

An Album of Loss: A New Critical Analysis of the Imagery in Agha Shahid Ali's "Postcard from Kashmir" and "A Lost Memory of Delhi" from his collection The Half-Inch Himalayas
Noelle G. Chandler
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Agha Shahid Ali writes in "Postcard from Kashmir" that the postcard "is home, and this is the closest / Ill ever be to home." The imagery he employs in the poem expresses his loss; his home rendered intangible by time and memory. W.J.T. Mitchell says in "Ekphrasis and the Other" that "Words can "cite," but never "sight," their objects." This idea is especially clear in "Postcard from Kashmir" as Ali expresses his frustration that the home he describes can never again be made tangible, that he will never truly see it again. Similar ekphrastic imagery appears in "A Lost Memory of Delhi" as Ali describes his childhood home, creating a narrative in which he attempts to place himself in the memory captured in the photograph but cannot make his voice heard. Ali uses ekphrastic imagery in these poems in order to portray his frustration at the impossibility of bridging the gap between past and present.

Keywords: Agha Shahid Ali, ekphrasis, Postcard from Kashmir, A Lost Memory of Delhi

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 16-3
Location: VH 1324
Time: 10:00

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