When poets from diverse and unique culture meet and recite their poems together each of them touch your innermost chord and one realises that cultural barriers are not an impediment in understanding life.
The Kritya International festival of poetry which concluded the other day witnessed poetry enthusiasts scaling the same heights with poets. The poems from various languages and scripts got laid out side by side as a testimony to the seductiveness innate to the language.
A second hand feel
Afrizal Malna, an Indonesian poet who presented the poem 'Second hand language store A and B' asks why people invent language to communicate with others. In the matter of style, Afrizal's poetry is characterised by syncopated rhythms and broken sentences.
His translator Dian points out that in his poetic career, he seemed to delight in simply listing a string of mixed images in his poems.
Malna's poems are critiques of the modernity of Indonesia. "His poignant images will jolt you out of your complacency and persuade you to look at realty," Jian points out. Afrizal Malna's poem: The second tongues language stores A and B has many second tongue languages of A and B. Second hand dream, second hand sadness, second hand summer, everybody is wondering about language A and B...
A see B wearing second hand character of A. B imagine himself as A, to be able to feel as if he is B. Quite slowly and more, the sun erase its light from your shadow)
Feeling of Sisterhood
Angelina Bong, Maleysian poet, who presented 'A letter to South Africa from your Malaysian sister' hopes to encourage people to celebrate the diversity through her writings and arts.
Kate Newmann from Ireland and Mathura (Margus Lattik) from Estonia caught the attention of the poetry lovers. Mathura an ardent worshiper of Indian culture was primarily inflenced by Rabindranatha Tagore.
Yesim Agoglu poet, writer and artist from Istanbul who presented the poem 'Letters' proved that letters can 'flutter in the sky, winged and spangled'.
Tale of Kashmir
In the poem 'I will come to see your orchards, brother', Babitha Marina Justin narrates the angst of a community in exile and the nation's collective oblivion of the Pandit exodus.
Sweeping over the visual and sensory ruins of Kashmir, the poet laments: I will come to see your hamlets that have exiled joys long ago. to explore your mountain passes stalked by messiahs of death I will come to see your bullet ridden skies bleeding in their clouds like a ‘traitor' framed) Aparana Nandakumar from Kozhikode, Lakshmi Priya from Thiruvananhtapuram and Meera nair from Thiruvananthapura, Soni Somarajan, Indiara Sadanandan, Rahul Naryaanan and Syam Sudhakar presented their poems.
Drop in participation
Speaking to Express Festival director Rati Saxena said, "There has been a decline in people's participation in the festival over the last ten years."
"Young writers from Kerala are ignoring their mother tongue and opting to write in english," she rues. "I cannot support this trend among the young writers here. The trend of looking down upon the Indianness by our own people cannot be tolerated," she pointed out.
Jayasree Ramakrishnan, editor and trustee of Kritya which organises the festival said they want people to listen to poetry.
"We need people to listen to poetry. And for this poetry has to be brought into the mainstream," she said.