Wednesday, September 5, 2007

War Veterens and the Epehebes

Dilip Chitre, the grand old man of Indian Poetry, is bringing out a big fat collection of poems in English on Friday. The collection is awesome and superbly brought out by Poetrywala. After Arun Kolatkar's mind blowing Kala Ghoda Poems and Sarpa Satra, Chitre's `As Is, Where Is' is a landmark work in Indian Poetry in English. Chitre has brought out three collections of his `collected works' running into more than seven hundred pages, he has also translated hundreds of pages from Marathi and has translated some seminal poets from all over the world into Marathi. I wonder if our generation will ever be able to reach this quantity and quality . It not only requires total dedication to art, but also immense passion and fire in the soul. This fire and passion and this dedication is missing in our generation. We also lack wide ranging scholarship that these people possess. Most of my contemporaries are myopic and their understanding of literature is very crude and gross. Their scholarship is zero. These War Veterans and their works are Himalayan obstacles and it will be an Herculean ordeal for our poetic strength to cross these ranges. I am going to Mumbai, the day after tomorrow for the book release function and hoping to meet my dear friends. Do I have enough RDX in my soul to better and on a bigger scale then these people? Time alone will tell. The small bulk of poetry I have written is a product of extremely intense, dark and passionate moments of my life. It is, I believe, like those moments which produced it. What is the place of my poetry in Marathi literary tradition? What is its place in the International arena of poetry? I wish I knew. Till then, dig dig deeper into my soul, my grave digger, and talk to the skull of Yorick you find......

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