How Anger Manifest in Contemporary Indian English Poetry

Dr. Reena Mittal

M.A. (Eng). Ph.D., M.B.A.

Department of English,  DAK Degree College, Moradabad

E-mail id: – mittal.reena23@gmail.com

This is a book review of the book titled ‘Anger in Contemporary Indian English Poetry’

Author: Dr. Vijay Vishal

Publisher: Vivek Publishing House, Jaipur, India.

Year: 2014.

ISBN: 978-93-83127-04-7.

The book is a critical study of three noted, promising and living poets of Post Emergency Era. This book will show a new direction to the scholars as it gives a description of History combined with poetry.

            The tradition of Indian English poetry is more than 150 years and we have more than thousand collections of poems and lots of writers. ‘Anger’ is a dominant feeling prevalent in the poems of Indian English. Even if we turn the pages of History, we will find a long list of poets and scholars with dominant feeling of Anger. This feeling is not there for any destructive purpose but to make corrections in situations, customs, rituals, politics and professional life. The book by Dr. Vijay Vishal is the outcome of contemporary poets and the underlying purpose of the book is to tell and sermonise the society. The book is divided in 6 chapters overall. The first chapter is Introduction, and second chapter is the most interesting in which the writer introduced the crux of his research. This chapter deals with contemporary postmodern poets from Indian English Era and discussed Nissim Ezekiel, A.K. Ramanujam and Jayanta Mahapatra. They three are really outstanding, innovative and individualistic. They have been widely read, discussed and praised. Other than these three Dr. Vishal has introduced a long list of contemporary rising poets who have a rage, spark and feeling of Anger in their poetry. The Anger in them is not actually negative feeling but it is prevalent for the sake of amendments in the society. He gives space to Keki N. Daruvalla too who is a major contemporary voice. In this chapter he gave a regular space to many who are not popular nationally but regionally. Third chapter is dedicated to Dr. R.K. Singh,one of three main poets whom the book is actually dedicated. He is a well-known IEP, critic and has a long list of publications to his credit. He is known for giving special effects to his language and articulates his experience is a novel way. He wrote with International sensibility with ‘Bahai’ mind-set because to him poetry is Humanity to him poetry is a means of inner-liberation. He longs for love and affection in the midst of gloom and despair. Fourth chapter is about R.K. Singh who works for ESP and a poet of Indian English writing. His target students are from Science and technology. He has a long list of publication and his poetry is mainly derived from Indian political themes and social reality. His debut collection of poetry came into existence in Emergency time from 1975-77. His poetry has a spark and rage as he want to raise issues regarding upliftment of people and want them to come out of Jaws of so called Politicians. To him, satire and irony are connected but satire is more open and irony is delicate. He views about healthy state and despotic phase of Indian democracy were worth reading. His poetic genius is par excellence. He picks words, ideas and images and places them with varied experience. The rage, anger and spark continue in his poems because he was searching reforms to apply in society. The V chapter is about Dr. P. Raja who was literary award winning International poetry from Chennai. He is a multi-facet writer, translator, historian, essayist and what not. He works on deep insight of Indian trends, traditions and ethos. His poetry is redolent of Tamil culture and some words from Tamil are also borrowed. To him, a poet is like a mother, who keeps child in womb for a certain period before giving birth. Similarly, a poem is like a new born child to a poet. He writes poetry in satirical tone, multi-dimensional themes, and psychological problems. He penned on social manners, ritualism and idolatry in religion. His poems are fresh, simple and provide us a rewarding experience. His mastery over language and medium, use of imagery and symbolism and blending of thought and emotion make his poetry exquisite. The concluding chapter of the book is the outcome of the productivity of Dr. Vishal. This chapter discusses all three poets in the timeline of their work, creativity and technique. They three deal with a feeling of rage and upliftment of the common mass and society.  That a poet is like a prophet, who can give sermon to the society, is a belief. He can erase corruption in social, political and moral life. All the three poets are working for welfare of human beings. The feeling of ‘anger’ in their poetry can be visualised clearly.

            The main purpose of writing the book and researching over the topic is not to tell about ‘Anger’ and to introduce so many writers. But a trend which came into existence after World wars, and spread all over the world is really beneficial to some extent, the critic want to tell this. The writer took three different poets for his reading and they three are writing on nearly same trend. Although they did not belong to same place, yet they hit the common topics in their poems. Dr. Vishal demonstrates various aspects of ‘Anger’ in this book with the help of these three poets. He wants to give a message that Rage and Anger not only give bad impact on the person they choose to show but when they come to the poems it give really concrete lessons. He culls out ‘Anger and its variables and tells its good and bad consequences.

            At the outset I must admit that I am not an expert in the subject and poets discussed in the book. The book has 328 pages with 6 chapters and we have lots of References and a long Bibliography. Actually its research work of the Author whom he has developed in the shape of book. The topic is really catchy and draws every body’s attention. The poets discussed in the book are from Post Emergency era and have a spark and promise to amend the society. The word ‘Anger’ is used symbolically but it gives the effect of the power present in the poems of three poets. Prima Facia of the book gives us impression that this book is actually a thesis but no. It is a complete package to understand three living poets and their poetry. The main purpose of poetry is to spread the message of humanity, paternity and brotherhood. Poetry always serves the purpose of uplifting the shortcomings of society, changing their mind-set. The Author Dr. Vishal’s purpose for producing this book solved nearly as he produced the poets and their poetry in a naval way. I think it has given a new dimension to all the poets.

            To sum up “Anger in Contemporary Indian English Poetry”, I can only say that it’s a complete study , if one want to know all about Post Emergency era of Indian English poetry. The book as well as its cover page is so impressive that we feel like going and reading it thoroughly. It gives us introductory Idea of some poets of Post Modern Indian English too. The language is simple to understand and ornate. The use of words makes it beautiful and substantial.

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