Poetry has always been my comfort zone. I read poems by many poets from many different ages and believe me, I liked many of them and their works. In terms of English poets, I liked Aurobindo, Naidu, Tagore and Ezekiel from the past and read many ones by Thayil, Mehrotra and others from the present day. In terms of Hindi poetry, I always love reading Nirala and his poems make me feel satisfied, intrigued and alert at the same time. I also like reading Arsi Prasad Singh and Pant, Jayashankar Prasad and others. However, in terms of present poetry, in its fundamental sense and we can call modern poets on the Instagram and Facebook platforms to be the benchmark… and believe me, it’s horrible, weird and nonsense… most of it (if not all).
Poetry should convey ideas, communicate emotions and permeate pleasant thoughts through lyrical qualities, beautiful words and amazing symmetry that we can witness apparently through lines, the progress of consciousness and feel something being concluded, emphatically, lightly and wonderfully, at the same time. When we read poets like Nirala or Sumitra Nandan Pant, we can feel exactly the same. Nirala, for instance, in the poem Wah Todti Pathar, opens our eyes to the world of a laborious girl who enjoys her job and is not bothered by what others feel about her ‘Karma’. In modern poets like Instagram celebrities Kaur and others, we can feel a sense that is pure nonsense and nothing else. Write a few lines. Put random breaks. Done. What?
Poets like A K Ramanujan or Jayant Mahapatra long for a conscious, alive, animated culture or something that we know as Indianness in an abstract sense. This longing makes the poems by these wonderful poets very close to the sentiments of Indian readers and also make these poets very popular and relevant even now. Poets like Tagore and Aurobindo have surpassed their peers and even precursors because they could make their poems rather universal and appealing to all instead of appealing to a certain section of readers.
Modern poetry needs to develop, grow more towards a level of maturity rather than a level of absurdity and then only it could make more sense of many readers. Otherwise, the great Indian tradition of poetry might well be left behind because of too hasty attempts of the poets to become famous… and it’s sad for a reader like me who has been loving Indian poetry for a long period of time.
Samridhi for BookWorm Reviews