Exploring Indian poetry

Published: 04th September 2012 10:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th September 2012 10:26 AM   |  A+A-


Nothing much has really been written about Indian poetry. Dating back to Vedic times, poetry in India reflected the cultural diversity and often explored the spiritual side of humanity.

Over the years, several Indian poets have dabbled with poetry in English. In fact it was Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, a radical Bengali thinker, who set the benchmark for English poetry in India.

His work was often regarded as an important contribution to patriotic poetry.

Another poet who has made remarkable contributions to Indian poetry is Nissim Ezekiel. He published his first collection of poetry in 1952.

He is one of the few writers whose work is held in high regard in postcolonial India’s literary history. Some of the poets of Ezekiel’s time include A K Ramanajun, Dom Moraes, R Parthasarthy, Jayant Mahapatra, Kamala Das, Dr Krishna Srinivas, Keki N Daruwala, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Arun Kolatkar, Dilip Chitre and Vikram Seth. After Derozio and Ezekiel, writers like Sarojini Naidu, Rabindranath Tagore, Toru Dutt and Sri Aurobindo too made significant contributions to India poetry.

However, in recent times, several less known and current poets like O P Bhatnagar, I K Sharma, Maha Nand Sharma, Krishna Srinivas, Mani Rao, P C K Prem, Srinivas Rangaswami, Dwarakanath H Kabadi, D C Chambial, P Raja and scores of others’ works have not been fully explored by contemporary scholars.

These poets have earned the reputation of writing with an awareness of their milieu and environment. In fact, they share the central core of contemporary realities of Indian life.

However, recent Indian English poetry can be categorised to what O P Bhatnagar terms as a process of collective discovery.

Another noted poet Attipate Krishnaswami Ramanujan a.k.a A K Ramanujan was known for his theoretical and aesthetic contributions to Indian literature. In fact, his academic research was done in five languages: Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Sanskrit, and English. He published works on both classical and modern variants of these literature and also argued strongly for giving local, non-standard dialects their due.


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