Coming Of Age
G.J.V. Prasad
INDIAN ENGLISH POETRY SINCE 1950: AN ANTHOLOGY by Vilas Sarang Orient Longman Ltd., 1989, 140 pp., price not stated
Sept-Oct 1989, volume 13, No 5

For years we have been told that Indian English Poetry has come of age, and paradoxically so in independent India. But I am yet to see an anthology which does justice to this statement. The only kind of anthology that can possibly do so is one which is a collection of the best poems written by Indians in English since 1947. Or better still, it should contain the best Indian English poems ever written. That could prove or give the lie to the popular contention that pre-Independence Indian English poets were failures and failed because they ‘remained too derivative’, and that, in contrast, post-Independence poets are successes because they are culturally confident and experimental in their craft. There would of course be more than one opinion about the choice of the ‘best’ poems but that could only be to the good since the resulting debate could help in clearing the cobwebs in the criticism of Indian English poetry. For indeed even if Indian English poetry may have come of age, its criticism is yet to do so.

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