Archive | April 2004: Indian Poetry in English

The Celebrations of Life Aren’t Over Yet

In Indian English poetry Bibhu Padhi belongs to the second generation of post-Independence poets. Some of his active contemporaries are Meena Alexander, Agha Shahid Ali and Vikram Seth. Writing for the last twenty five years, Padhi has carved a niche for himself in Indian English poetry.

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Spinning the Web

Bare Face by Jayanta Mahapatra. Kottayam: DC Books (India), 2000. $7.95. As Reviewed By: Rabindra K. Swain Today, when India is known abroad more for her fiction than her poetry, Jayanta Mahapatra’s sixteenth volume, Bare Face, arrives. Hopefully, it will win some readers, interested in that country’s literature, from the former genre. When Jayanta Mahapatra started […]

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A Home Away from Home

Uncollected Poems and Prose by A. K. Ramanujan. Edited by Molly Daniels-Ramanujan and Keith Harrison. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001. As Reviewed By: Rabindra K. Swain A. K. Ramanujan passed away in 1993, at the age of 64, in Chicago, where he had served at the university as William E. Colvin Professor. He had […]

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The Lost Children of America 

A Poem by Jayanta Mahapatra [private] [/private]

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Speak, Ranjit

Reasons for Belonging: Fourteen Contemporary Indian Poets, edited by Ranjit Hoskote. Viking (New Delhi) 2002. 148 pages. 195 Rupees. As Reviewed By: Rabindra K. Swain “For a time,” warns Michael Roberts in his introduction to the first edition of the influential anthology The Faber Book of Modern Verse, “the false poem may be more popular […]

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Indispensable Books of  Indian Poetry in English

An inadequate but serviceable list As Compiled By: Preston Merchant Only the Soul Knows How to Sing: Selections from Kamala Das Das stopped writing poetry recently after converting to Islam, though she had been called “the first Hindu woman to write honestly about sexual feelings and love.” Her work is rich, unfettered, and charged with the […]

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At Home in the Several Worlds

The Oxford India Ramanujan, edited by Molly Daniels-Ramanujan (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004) As Reviewed By: Preston Merchant It was a singular moment in the history of Indian letters when A. K. Ramanujan walked into the University of Chicago library one Saturday in 1962 and leafed through a box of musty, uncatalogued books, recently […]

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Love and the Insurgency

Agha Shahid Ali (1949-2001) By: Preston Merchant After Agha Shahid Ali died on December 8, 2001, of brain cancer, Tehelka, an Indian website, presented an online tribute by his friends and admirers. Shahid would have delighted in the fact that he was being featured on a news and gossip site (tehelka means “sensation” in Hindi) […]

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The Lost Children of America

Here in the dusty malarial lanes of Cuttack where years have slowly lost their secrets they wander in these lanes nicked by intrigue and rain and the unseen hands of gods in front of a garish temple of the simian Hanuman along river banks splattered with excreta and dung in the crowded market square among […]

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At Home in the Several Worlds

The Oxford India Ramanujan, edited by Molly Daniels-Ramanujan (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004) As Reviewed By: Preston Merchant It was a singular moment in the history of Indian letters when A. K. Ramanujan walked into the University of Chicago library one Saturday in 1962 and leafed through a box of musty, uncatalogued books, recently […]

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