I have been an inexcusable reader of Indian English poetry and let me say that today, as things stand, I am very disappointed seeing things getting out of hands and poetry to be seen nowhere other than the platforms on the internet which are rather stuffed with imagery without any concerning sense. Or, in short, if I may put it this way – things which we call poetry today, in India, written in English, make no sense at all. Nevertheless, if you are worried about my choice of words, you can settle with very little sense, if that may please you. But poetry in English has suffered in India and you will have to agree with me when I say this.
Indian English poets used to simply copy the style of poets in England when it all started in India. With time, however, things changed for better and Indian English poets began producing their original ideas and converted them into wonderful poetry. Aurobindo is one of the best poets I can name right now who beautifully expressed Indian thoughts in English poetry he wrote. Anyone else who stands near him? I would rather keep mum and won’t say any other name. Nevertheless, there were other poets like Sarojini Naidu and A. K. Ramanujan at later stages, the poets who produced original poetry in English.
At present, however, things have completely changed and you cannot find many poets who represent Indian English poetry on the global stage and can produce original poetry which is free of Western impact. Western impact, to be honest, is not something that one needs to avoid completely in order to become an original poet but there must be something that could entice the readers as well. As an Indian reader of poetry, one needs to be given something that might inspire him or elevate his mind and remind him of things he knows, things he will love to know or things he can be proud of. Aurobindo did it very well in his works like Savitri, with full vigour and beauty of poetry. Unlike him, many poets in India right now, who write in English, produce almost nothing in terms of content and deliver poetry which is bereaved of beauty, ideas and even originality. Do you get my point?
I would name some of the Indian English poets like Abhay K who, in spite of living in foreign countries as a diplomat, constantly produce poetry which sounds more Indian than Indian English poets produce here in India. Yes, there are many young sparks taking to writing on Instagram or Facebook but these out of school graduates need to be schooled first on what poetry is rather than just writing anything with left alignment and naming it poetry. To be honest, I will say that the free platforms where we can call ourselves poets have done more damage to the poetry fraternity than the profits they have brought for us, the poetry lovers.
It’s up to the modern generation of Indian poets to show the bench strength to the world of literature now and if they confuse their minds with content which is not worthy to be poeticised, the future of Indian English poetry might not see any future. It’s time that we get serious about the issues at hand and begin doing things which are needed in order to change the scenario for the best of our literary pursuits. The country which gave the world incomparable poetry like Bhagwad Gita and Ramayana cannot be forced to submit to the ambitions of some unlikely hooligans who call themselves poets on Instagram and produce conundrum they call poetry. We need to recognise the real poets and denounce the fakers!
Written by an angry BookWorm for BookWorm Reviews