What Good Can Poetry Do?
K Narayana Chandran
HUNCHPROSE by Ranjit Hoskote Penguin Random House India, 2021, 140 pp., 499.00
October 2021, volume 45, No 10

What good can poetry do? A lot. Even for jaded sensibilities. When hype springs eternal in the human breast, poetry can be sobering. Poets have been reminding us for long that we are not all that human. Some of them fear a future when we are human. We lack the capacity, they say, to see one another as fully human, as more than ‘dreams or dots’. Some poets go a step further. They also try (almost in vain) to make us think and feel like the animals around us. Our incapacity to be humane is directly proportional to an education that excessively relies on modelling human behaviour using technological and digital media. Ranjit Hoskote is one poet who seems to have loved and emulated writers who believe this.The poems in hunchprose give us ample evidence of such thinking, and tell us why.

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