Homage to a publisher
A book may look like a house or a coffin
But a maker of books cannot be contained between ordinary covers.
Between the Muses' minions, stodgy academics,
Smarmy marketing men and discount-hungry retailers
He waves a baton to conduct a chorus
That threatens to collapse any moment into cacophony,
Yet keeps the show going,
Plays on the dialectic of recto and verso, dwells
On the aesthetics of fonts, the sensuous texture of paper
And when a book is carried in from the bindery
Like a new-born baby, his name
Is on the title-page, true,
But to see him in all his glory
We need to look at things in a Platonic light –
Where the air is rich with heavenly scents,
In the Book of Books he stands
illuminated under "Acknowledgments."
Kaiser Haq, a poet, essayist and translator, is currently professor of English at ULAB.
*Mohiuddin Ahmed, d. 22 June 2021, was founder and Managing Director of University Press Ltd. (UPL).