"Waterfalls in a Bank" is a poem by A
K. Ramanujan, a twentieth-century Indian poet who lived in the United States for most of his adult life. The poem was first published in Ramanujan's collection of poems Second Sight (1986), which is currently out of print. It is also available in The Oxford India Ramanujan and The Collected Poems of A. K. Ramanujan. The poem is set in a bank in Chicago, where the poet's attention is caught by a man-made waterfall. As he gazes at the waterfall, it stimulates his memory, and much of the poem consists of a stream of varied imagery, including some scenes from his past in India. "Waterfalls in a Bank" is typical of Ramanujan's work in the sense that as an Indian immigrant living in Chicago, Illinois, he lived in two cultural worlds, East and West, which for him also represented the past and the present, respectively. His poetry considers the tensions involved in this situation, and as such, his work is part of the contribution made to American literature over the last twenty years or so by immigrants from South Asia who have endeavored in their writing to come to terms with their experience in the United States.