Transnationalism and Reflective Verse
Usha Kishore
VOICES ACROSS THE OCEAN: POEMS FROM AUSTRALIA & INDIA by Rob Harle, Allahabad, 2015, 98 pp., 200
April 2015, volume 39, No 4

Voices across the Ocean: Poems from Australia &India(Cyberwit, 2014)is third in a series of collaborative anthologies by Rob Harle and Jaydeep Sarangi. The collection brings together 12 national portraits in verse, featuring five Indian and five Australian contemporary poets and a poem each from the editors. Not altogether discounting the cultural differences between the two nations, the editors have prioritized the theme of emancipation, creating a poetic discourse across the Indian Ocean. The inextricable elements of nation, culture and language are self-evident within the anthology, but the primary debate is emancipation from socio-political restrictions, which ramifies in various directions: gender issues, the drug demon, myth, war, nature, Tibet and an indigenous voice from Australia. The 10 featured poets outline a continuum, extrapolating the emancipation theme with their own personal causes and highly individual verse forms. The editors have endeavoured to bring Australian Poetry out of the Oceania enclave and to promote Indian Poetry in English. This transnational collection not only maps these nations, but also succeeds in appealing to the poetic sensibility of a world, no longer restrained by boundaries.

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