Category Archives: Indian poetry

Book Review: The Four Colors By Ankur

Rakhi Dalal reviews The Four Colors – a poetry collection by Ankur and tells us how through these poems the poet ruminates over the images nestled in memories – streaked with hues embodying the essence of life. 

The four colours

Hawakal Publishers, July 2020

Our thoughts and emotions, like things around us, seem to be carrying colours of different hues. Even words that we use for their portrayal are tinged with shades of colours. Though, they are not as stark as colours in Guthrie’s Four Color theorem since they don’t map the territories of the world. Instead, they sketch the contours of mind – places where confined realms don’t exist, where porous spheres make the occurrence of feelings and ideas more circinate due to their tendency to turn up when recalled or encountered again. In any art form, the illustration of these notions corroborates the contemplations occupying a mind in a particular instant. And since their appearance may perhaps be not linear, they might get imbued with various tints.

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Book Review: The Poet as A Persevering Witness by Dion D’Souza

Dion D’souza talks about E.V. Ramakrishnan’s Tips for Living in an Expanding Universe (Poetrywala, 2018) and shows how it has acquired even more relevance today.

In Woody Allen’s Annie Hall (1977), the protagonist Alvy Singer, having found out as a child that our universe is expanding, decides to give up mundane activities like his homework. What’s the point, he demands petulantly, if it’s just going to blow up one fine day? (The universe, that is, not his homework.) And suppose one could travel into and back in cinema time (as the older and heartbroken Alvy does in the film) and slip the boy a copy of EV Ramakrishnan’s Tips for Living in an Expanding Universe, would that in any way serve to ease his anxiety? I doubt it. But what I can vouch for is the fact that Alvy’s excuses for not turning in his assignments would have been more innovative than the standard go-to of an unruly pet’s voracious appetite.

But, man of wavering faith as I may be, why, in this particular case, do I doubt? To put it simply, the vision of a capricious universe that Ramakrishnan offers us is not very reassuring: one where “nothing is permanent, only sorrows and stories” (‘Local Gods’) and “the end [is] always imminent/but the narrative, like a coroner’s/report on a mass suicide, drags on” (‘To a Writer in Exile’). Reality and identity are in a state of flux; and violence, disease or a natural calamity can at any moment rip through our fragile and illusory sense of order and stability. However, this is a vision we must face up to of necessity. (And have now been forced to…thanks, 2020!)

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Poetry Excerpt: The Bloomsbury Book of Great Indian Love Poems Edited by Abhay K.

An exclusive excerpt from The Bloomsbury Book of Great Indian Love Poems edited by Abhay K. (Published by Bloomsbury in October, 2020)

From the ancient land of India which has given the world, Kamasutra-a treatise on love, Great Indian Love Poems, selected and edited diligently by Abhay K., brings you the fragrant wine of Indian love poetry spread across three millennia, written in multiple languages by gifted poets like -Kalidasa, Mirabai, Bhratrihari, Jayadeva, Silhana, Surdas, Bihari, Muddupalani, Bhavabhuti, Venmaniputti, Vidyapati, Bilhana to just name a few.

This intoxicating book shows many facets of love-affectionate, playful, sensuous, erotic, unconditional, pining, aching, among others-leaving you with unforgettable experiences and lasting impressions.

A new ratnakosha of Indian love poems-a cornucopia of delights. A must read for one and all.

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Book Excerpt: The Four Colors by Ankur Agarwal

A preview of The Four Colors by Ankur Agarwal  (Published by Hawakal Publishers, 2020)

 

The four coloursAbout the Book

The fifty-odd poems in this collection all reflect the different hues of life as well as different stages of growth of a person. The poems find themselves divided naturally into four sections: Green (birth), Yellow (disillusion), Purple (rebirth), and Red (self-realization). The irrepressible current of life, in its various manifestations, runs through them all.

Copyright (C) Ankur Agarwal
Copyright (C) Ankur Agarwal
Copyright (C) Ankur Agarwal
Copyright (C) Ankur Agarwal

Excerpted with permission from The Four Colors by Ankur Agarwal . Published by Hawakal Publishers , 2020.

About the Author

Ankur is an Indian poet. His poems have appeared in several literary journals earlier: most notable among them are the poems “Lamplighter” in the now-defunct Barnwood Poetry Magazine (which used to be edited by Tom Koontz); “India, the River” in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal and “Oslo, Bangalore” in Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine; and “Looking Out For” in Other Poetry (now on hiatus). He also was a guest poetry editor for Cha’s issues 16 and 35. His short story “Silver Plums” was published in the Mascara Literary Review. There have been many strong influences on his life, including the poetry of R. S. Thomas, Wang Wei, Robert Frost and Walter de la Mare. Ankur is currently based in Norway.

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