The Long and the Short of it
Mrinal Pande
KAHIN BHI KHATM KAVITA NAHIN HOTI by Narendra Mohan Sambhavana Prakashan, Hapur, 1979, 213 pp., 35.00
July-August 1979, volume 4, No 1

The book, the dust jacket claims, is the first ever collection of long Hindi poems written in our time. The poets whose works are included are Agyeya, Muktibodh, Dharmvira Bharati, Raghuvir Sahai, Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Dhoomil, Amrita Bharati, Baldeo Vanshi, Mani Madhukar and Leeladhar Jagoodi. One of the weaknesses endemic in most anthologies of contemporary writ­ing (in Hindi at least) has been the unconscious grouping together of talents so diverse in nature that there appears to be no other reason for putting their work together in the same book except a very superficial similarity in certain traits that have come to spell ‘the modern sensibi­lity’ in recent years. The present collec­tion seems to me to labour under a similar misapprehension, for it seems to disregard the inner dialectics of the poems as criteria and focus more on form. A long poem differs from a short poem not merely in length, or the number of coordinating beliefs and images that it contains, but in its basic genetic principles.

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