Burning Ember by Hans Erni and Jot Singh

Burning Ember by Hans Erni and Jot Singh

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Geneva, Switzerland : Another Horizon, 1988. Hardcover. Unpaginated ; Illustrated ; 33 cm. In original dust jacket with light foxing to jacket verso and to the front and rear endpapers. Pages are unmarked. Binding is firm.


Jot Singh, an Indian, lives in Geneva since l962. In 1972, he met Hans Erni at his home in Lucerne. A friendship was born. They meet each other often. The hours they spend together are always filled with experiences of the yester and notions of the morrow. Bounds of the topic are drawn by the mood of the moment. In celebrate his friend's 70th. birthday. Jot Singh published a portrait of Hans Erni. This was in 1979.

Jot Singh has been writing poetry for years. For his own pleasure and for the pleasure of his dear friends. Hans Erni has always liked Jot Singh's words and one day expressed his desire to illustrate a volume of poems. Burning Ember is the result.

The poems chosen for this collection touch upon a basic theme. Man has come to inherit a world where each activity must be rendered with profitable returns and that too in the quickest of time to remain justifiable. Where commitment has given in to arrangement. Involvement into contract. Where all is tolerated. All is accepted. Jot Singh's poems are painful cries, a refusal to compromise to this way of life that lures towards a facility where individuality ceases.

Hans Erni's drawings alternate the poems in the book. Tender lines for hard realities. A certain barrenness of the heart, a desert where little grows. Empty lives. Homeless people. Lonely hearts. Each one accentuates the feelings created with the words. Words that begin to lake meanings which go beyond I heir known horizons. The drawn lines vibrate tilt a sensation begins to unsettle our acquired logic of life.

Burning Ember is a book one lives with. After a time, maybe some of us will change the way we live our lives. It is perhaps a dream. But then, is there anything wrong with dreaming?

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