Vasanthi Ram
VOICES OLD AND NEW by Keshav Malik & Manohar Bandopadhyay Prachi Prakashan, Delhi, 1982, 111 pp., 50
Sept-Oct 1982, volume 7, No 2

The editors of this anthology have stated that their aim was ‘to represent only such (poets) as embody in effective idiom the native sensibility’. One can, indeed, discern in all the poets, from old stalwarts to new voices, the milieu in which Indo-English poetry is being written today. They all reflect, in one way or another, the dilemma of the Indian ethos into which they have been born, and the contemporary Western philosophical influ¬ences, particularly Sartrean Existentialism, to which they are prone.

Margaret Chatterjee’s poems, sketched with perfect economy, deal with apparently common¬place scenes—’City Trees’, ‘A Fine Lawn’, ‘Grass’. Each aspect of nature expands into life itself:

Just how free is the money plant, Secure in the lattice of string, Yesterday’s assurances Reaching out With new shoots, Tentative, For tomorrow Does not exist Yet?

Continue reading this review