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Poets who took Indian poetry to the next level

Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful – Rita Frances Dove

Poetry is to literature what soul is to the body. The rhythmic verses swell with the deepest emotions of the poet and settle in the heart of the readers. Belonging to the rich history of Indian literature, these poets bring alive the magic of poetry every time we revisit their oeuvre. Even though the new avatar of short poetry forms has become the most favoured style, the magic of literary verses woven by these authors will never fade away. On World Poetry Day, read poems by these 10 authors and revisit the surrealism created by their magical words. Read more

Source: The Times of India


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Extra Service: A poem by Alton Melvar M Dapanas

Extra Service

alton 2Alton Melvar M Dapanas is the general editor of Bukambibig Poetry Folio of Spoken Word Philippines, essay editor of Bulawan Literary Zine of Northern Mindanao, and co-editor of Libulan: Binisaya Anthology of Queer Literature. He is author of Gayzes, a self-published poetry zine, and The Cartographies of Our Skin, a chapbook of lyric essays and prose poems. He spearheads Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro, a young writers collective, and is a co-founder of the annual Cagayan de Oro Writers Workshop. He is based in the southern Philippines.


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Anger of Adivasis turns to poetry of protest in a young woman’s hand

By Anumeha Yadav

Jacinta Kerketta’s poems talk of the identity issues of young Adivasis, and question the state’s vision of development for tribal areas

Till the time Jacinta Kerketta went to a missionary boarding school in Jharkhand’s Manoharpur at the age of 13, she was witness to her mother Pushpa Anima Kerketta being beaten up and abused. This was at home in Siwan in undivided Bihar, where her father worked as a policeman.

In her book Angor (“embers” in her language, Sadri), Kerketta, an Adivasi, says: “For a long time, it was my mother’s sobs that resounded in the silence of my heart.”

Kerketta gets angry even now when she speaks of watching her mother walk behind her father in public, or having to wait till he finishes his meals before she can eat. It is this anguish that the 32-year old expresses in her poem “Bawandar aur Dishaayein,” talking of a tribal village being blown away like chaff by “development”, because “someone ought to make a sacrifice” – and this time too it is the turn of the Adivasi village. Read more

Source: Dhaka Tribune

 


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Rest: A poem by Vani Rao

Rest

vani-pictureVani Rao is a US citizen, originally from India. She has been a corporate IT person for over twenty years. In all that time, reading was her passion, writing her dream.

She has been privileged for the past four years in pursuing her dream of writing full time. She lives in Pittsburgh PA with her husband and son.

Her work has appeared in The Zodiac Review, EastLit and Indian Review.

 


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When Jibanananda translated his own poems

By Abdus Selim

There are perhaps innumerable examples of poets translating their own poems in the realm of literature, but what I am focused on in this brief writeup is sketching the trends in Jibanananda Das’s translations of his own poems. We all know the first most successful poetry translator of this subcontinent happens to be none other than Rabindranath Tagore, for, his renderings of his own poems into English brought him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. But of course no such thing happened to Jibanananda Das.

The English translation of four poems, “If I Were” (Jodi aami hotem), “O Kite” (Hai chil), “Banalata Sen” (Banalata Sen), and “Meditations” (Manosharani) came out in the anthology titled Modern Bengali Poems in 1945. All four of them were translated by the poet himself. Abhijeet Roy comments on Jibannanda’s translation in his lecture that he delivered at The Open University, UK, “Jibanananda as the translator of his own poem . . . was anxious to retain his lifetime obsession with the meaning of human history in the context of an unfathomable universe.” The poet himself held that, “Poetry and life are two different outpourings of the same thing; life as we usually conceive it contains what we normally accept as reality, but the spectacle of this incoherent and disorderly life can satisfy neither the poet’s talent nor the reader’s imagination . . . poetry does not contain a complete reconstruction of what we call reality; we have entered a new world.” This mysterious new world referred to by Jibanananda Das was perhaps the anxiety and obsession for retaining the meaning of human history in the context of an unfathomable universe, that Abhijeet has tried to imply. Read more

Source: Dhaka Tribune

 


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Book Review: Monk on a Hill by Guru T. Ladakhi

By Nilesh Mondal

monkBooks about mountains usually evoke the same sense of wanderlust and serenity in readers that they expect from an impromptu trip to a hill station over a weekend. It is the feeling of glossing over the calm surface of a land, visiting spots endorsed for their natural beauty and renowned as tourist attractions. The audience here expects to look at these lands through the eyes of a chance traveller, the voyeuristic gaze that finds only beauty, but not the struggle underlying this snowy exterior. Guru T. Ladakhi however, isn’t one of those poets, and his poems bring out the skeletons in the cold closets of places he belongs to, and has travelled to.

In his debut collection of poetry Monk on a Hill, he divides his poems into sections: people, places, seasons, haikus and postscripts, meticulously fleshing out a narrative that is unafraid, loud and clear. He doesn’t take the easy way out with his poems, instead choosing to delve deeper into the heart of the mountains and bring out for us pieces steeped in the fragrance of melting snow as much as it carries the stench of spilled blood. The very first poem, For Robin the Poet, makes it abundantly clear that he’s not one to shy away from harsh truths, choosing instead to ask questions that have echoed in the repressed corners of every poet’s mind:

Shit, grime, murder, mediocrity.
How much more must a poet endure
and still keep faith aglow
in the dark lust-paved streets of his brain
?”

In the first section, aptly titled “People”, he talks about the strife between pursuing dreams and falling into despair, trading a voyeur’s usual tone of judgement for an endearing voice that is pain stricken and honest about the despair and pain around him. His poems traverse a multitude of emotions, stemming from his ability to both feel and sympathise with the pathos of the people he talks about; from the ache of loss to the jubilance of victory. When talking about death, his voice remains sombre, but resolved, that of a poet who has accepted death as an inevitability but isn’t afraid to shed tears when it does occur. “Departure”, a poem that has been described as a sister’s lament at the loss of her brother, portrays this best:

“In the wake of departure you have left
a mother battered by insomnia
clinging to the sheets you slept on,
and a father unhealed, grasping at shadows,
hoping to make amends.
I reject your relentless absence.”

In the next section, titled “Places”, he delves into the intricacies of the land. His voice remains the same, honest and not scared to reveal truths about these places, but it also contains an aching depiction of nostalgia. These are places he has had a deep connection with, and has watched them change and weather trying times, as all lands must do. This duality becomes apparent in his poem “Shillong, 1992”, where he is both drawn towards, as well as repulsed by the city’s changing landscape:

“Farewell, Shillong, I came because you beckoned
but I must leave now,
for the songs on your lips have died
and you live clinging to the ghost of yesterday”

Continue reading


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I have aged but not my perspective or writing: Padma Shri Keki N Daruwalla

He is one of India’s foremost poets and short story writers, a Padma Shri recipient and was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1984, which he returned in 2015. Even at the age of 80, the writer is all about smiles, saying that age has had no impact on his perspective or writing.

“I do not think growing old has had any lasting impact. I like to write about contemporary things and things that matter. I have aged but not my perspective or my writing. I am now 80 years old and I am just grateful that I can still come up with things, which are not only well liked and read but also equally relevant,” Keki N. Daruwalla told IANS in an interview.

And why not, if you look at his just-released book “Daniel Comes to Judgement” (Niyogi Books/Rs 395/214 pp). Vignettes from the vast repository of a wordsmith who can straddle myth and reality with ease, the 20 short stories breathe life into metaphors, coalesce fact with fancy and still sound fascinatingly credible. Read more

Source: The Indian Express


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safe flight: A poem by William Beale

safe flight

william-bealeWilliam Beale, author of “they call us loud” (2015, Perfect Binding Press) is an Australian poet, writer and actor currently in Melbourne. He performs poetry, judges slams and teaches as a collective known as Poetry Cafe KL. Co-founder of Malaysia’s only bi-monthly poetry open mic night, If Walls Could Talk; winner of performing arts awards; and runner-up for the 2014 KL ‘Punch Drunk Love’ poetry slam. You can find his words online at williambeale.com


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India: N E poets misunderstood for their poetry of conflict: Ngangom

New Delhi, Feb 24 (PTI) Eminent Manipuri poet Robin S Ngangom believes it is wrong to typecast the poets from North East as unduly obsessed with the poetry of “politics” and “brutality”.

Ngangom, who writes in English and Meitei, says some poets have moved beyond merely recording the events of insurgency.

“There is often this charge made that the poets of North East are unduly obsessed with the poetry of politics and brutality.

“But few fine poets have moved beyond merely recording events and have internalised the complex conflict between themselves and the social environment,” Ngangom said during the inaugural session of North-East and Northern Writers’ Meet.

He said the poets in Manipur often have to take the risk of writing as a witness to the political violence in the region. Read more

Source:India.com