Poetry of the Polluted City
Jatindra Kumar Nayak
ASH-FLOWERS by D.K. Joshi Writers Workshop, Kolkata, 1979, 32 pp., 15.00
Nov-Dec 1979, volume 4, No 3

Contemporary criticism of Indo­-English poetry continues to harp on its favourite themes: the alien idiom and Indian sensibility, self consciousness of the poet, lack of a sense of humour, lack of an integrity of experience and social consciousness and so on. At times it be­comes a rather lofty discussion of the relation of language to reality and poses the question: can an essentially Indian experience be expressed in English, a foreign language?

Coming to poems in English written by the Indians, the whole debate appears to be academic and, beyond a certain point, totally irrelevant. What perhaps, matters most is the poem itself and the quality of the experience it embodies.

The poet of the collection under re­view seeks to convey in a series of lyrical poems his private encounter with reality. It is a predominantly urban reality and the poetic voice is that of a sophisticated, sensitive and lonely urban man. The collision between the self and the city results in laconic expressions of anguish punctuated by light ironic touches.

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