Publication Date: October 22, 2014
The author, Jasbir S. Jagdeo, gave me a copy of this story in exchange for my review.
A Fine Poet: A Short Story is an extremely compact work at 8 pages that takes place wholly in a classroom setting. A young student needs to borrow a pencil. He tries to attract the attention of a classmate that he knows will be sympathetic to his plight while trying to stay out of eyesight of the fearsome Mrs. Chadha. Though the tale clearly takes place in India, the main character is pure little boy. On Page 5 we learn that “He could never comprehend why everyone else’s shirt was always so white and stainless.” The nature of little boys is a bit like Pigpen from the Peanuts cartoons, the stains swirl around them landing at inopportune moments.
While the focus of the lesson is the nature of poetry and the beauty of its humanity, Jagdeo dances us through the classroom and Mrs. Chadra’s fluid delivery. The lesson and the little boy lace together beautifully. The language is formal but fluid. A Fine Poet: A Short Story is a charming short story. Jagdeo’s writing perfectly conveys the stern instructor and the wriggling little boy. The author has a wonderful talent for building strong characters and painting complete word pictures in a stunning economy of words.
The humor ofA Fine Poet: A Short Story is light and fun to read. The little boy is trying so hard not to be noticed and the teacher is going on with her lesson but clearly not missing much. The little boy is accustomed to attracting attention for his complete inability to keep himself in the manner expected. I couldn’t help but smile reading his narrative. He’s such an average child no matter the culture.
A Fine Poet: A Short Story is a sweet and intelligent short story. If you like literary fiction, in bite sized but cohesive form.
Read an excerpt and pick up A Fine Poet: A Short Story by Jasbir S. Jagdeo today on