CHENNAI: A cup of frothy dark brown filter coffee and a garland of white jasmine flowers is the cover art for Madras Hues, Myriad Views, which was launched by India Poetry Circle at Odyssey Bookstore, Adyar, on August 11.
Launched in celebration of Madras Day, the anthology contains poems from 41 local poets about the city. From Chepauk Palace to the Anna Centenary Library, the collections attempt to capture the plentiful locations and emotions associated with Chennai, which will celebrate her 380th birthday this year. The book also contains photographs and illustrations of various localities such as Mylapore, Triplicane and T Nagar.
The chief guest of the event was director PC Sreeram and the guest of honour was artist Keshav. “History is very important in my films. I take certain films very personally, and try to depict the place in it’s authentic form. Reading poetry gives you a high, and history is full of nostalgia, which is important in a digital era. Both tell us that what is left must be preserved,” said Sreeram.
The event was also held in honour of historian S Muthiah, who passed away in April this year. The book, published by Adisakrit Publishing, has a section dedicated to honour the late historian and chronicler of Madras by journalist Meera Raghavendra Rao.
Guest speaker Thirupurasundari Sevvel, secretary of the Madras Literary Society, spoke on the varied interpretations of the Queen of the Coromandel. “Madras is what we feel, not what is written about it. We all have different opinions of the city. The city is what we give it, not what it gives us. To this end, the anthology is filled with variety about the city,” she said. The session ended with a poetry reading by the poets who contributed to the anthology.
(‘Madras Hues, Myriad Views’ is available at Rs 250)