Ripening spots of white starlight onto our cold blue sphere,
you made the night reflect everything
in pools of water.
Even the wet streets of the planet would see me reaching for
like a paddle returning to the surface of a lake.
You’ve just read an excerpt from poet Daniel Nadler’s debut collection. Entitled Lacunae: 100 Imagined Ancient Love Poems, this collection explores what exists in the unmentioned or unrecorded moments of life in an ancient world.
But what does “lacunae” mean? As defined in the Oxford English Dictionary: “In a manuscript, an inscription, the text of an author: A hiatus, blank missing portion.”
With these new poems, Nadler intends to fill invented or actual lacunae in classical Indian manuscripts. These ancient writings were documented in 3 different languages- Sanskrit, Old Tamil, and Maharastri Prakrit- but Nadler’s poems use English instead. Each of the poems is fairly short, usually around just 2 stanzas, which aligns with their purpose of being “fill-ins.” Through these musings, Nadler explores imaginative, rich depths of feeling, with hints at a bigger plot unseen.
None of these poems are titled, so the table of contents records each lacuna as its first line. For example, the poem below is recorded as “A glacier glows pink.”
A glacier glows pink
from the sun it encases
in its ice. This is what is told
Check out Lacunae in the library: you can view its availability here.