Kritish Rajbhandari studied Chinese, climbed Mount St. Helens, tutored Hum, and wrote his thesis on Stevens and Pound. Photo by Matt D'Annunzio
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
Adviser: Nathalia King [English 1987–]
Thesis: Materiality to Abstraction in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens and Ezra Pound
What it’s about: I analyze Stevens’s “Comedian as the Letter C” and Pound’s canto 85 and argue that both poems exploit the materiality of language with sounds and typography as fundamental means of expression to break into abstractions that project their own visions of the world.
What it’s really about: Words always say more than what they mean.
Who I was when I got to Reed: I thought the world was a turnip, which is my way of saying I had a naïve and simplistic view of the world. Adapting to America and to Reed was the biggest challenge I faced. Now I think of Reed as my second home.
Influential book: Heidegger’s Being and Time changed the way I look at the world and how I conceive of myself. It attempts to answer the questions, “What does it mean to be human in a community where everything is interrelated to each other? Where does that line between you and others appear?” It helped me make sense of everyday life and what the theme of my life should be.
Favorite spot: The front lawn on a sunny day feels like a festival.
Random thoughts: I really loved the professors here. Their commitment, dedication, and love for the students are very important and made my Reed experience even better.
Cool stuff I did: Learned Chinese, wrote and translated poetry, climbed Mount St. Helens, organized Reed’s first international festival, and tutored Hum, physics, and Chinese.
How Reed changed me: Reed taught me to push the boundaries in whatever I do and helped me recognize my passion and my abilities. To have a satisfying life I need to be challenged and learn a new thing every day.
Scholarships, awards, financial aid: I’m very thankful for the financial aid I got from Reed, without which it would have been impossible to attend. Eddings Opportunity Grant, Reed grants, Kaspar T. Locher Creative Scholarship, McGill Lawrence Internship Award to work for Namaste Kathmandu.
What’s next: Freelance writing for a year while translating Nepali poetry.
Seeing the C. English major Kritish Rajbhandari ’12 explores the materiality of language, how the sounds and shapes of words convey the music of poetry.