|Schools and movements|
Cavalier • Metaphysical
|Country and region|
English poetry • Scottish poetry
India has a tradition of written poetry that goes back thousands of years, to the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Indian poetry in the English language, though, is less than 200 years old, beginning with the first coming of Englishmen to the country.
The first English written in India was composed by expatriate English people, the Anglo-Indians.
Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall served in India as a civil servant for more than 30 years (1856-1887).. His Verses written in India was published in London in 1889.
Henry Derozio is considered the first poet in the lineage of Indian English Poetry. A significant and torch bearer poet is Nissim Ezekiel and the significant poets of the post-Derozio and pre-Ezekiel times are Toru Dutt, Sarojini Naidu, Rabindranath Tagore, and Sri Aurobindo. Some of the poets of Ezekiel's time are A K Ramanajun, Dom Moraes, R Parthasarthy, Jayant Mahapatra, Kamala Das, Dr.Krishna Srinivas, Keki N Daruwala, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Arun Kolatkar, Dilip Chitre, Vikram Seth, etc.
But academic critics and scholars have been rather lukewarm about studying several less known and current poets like O.P. Bhatnagar , I.K. Sharma, Ram Krishna Singh, Niranjan Mohanty, T.V. Reddy, Gopal Honnalgere, Maha Nand Sharma, Krishna Srinivas, Pashupati Jha, P.K. Joy, Mani Rao, Asha Viswas, Sudha Iyer, Esha Joshi, Anuradha Nalapet, Renu Gurnani, Angelee Deodhar, Tejinder Kaur, P.C.K. Prem, Srinivas Rangaswami, Dwarakanath H. Kabadi, D.C. Chambial, P. Raja, Kanwar Dinesh Singh, I.H. Rizvi, D.S. Maini and scores of others "unpolluted by the public school morals and stances." These poets write with an awareness of their milieu and environment rather than British or American rhetoric or intellectual attitudes like alienation or exile. They share the central core of contemporary realities of Indian life.
Some of them as 'time travellers' search for broader connections with the world and ruminate upon nature, truth, reality, metaphysics, prevailing sociopolitical conditions, traditional values, intellectual and moral challenges, love, sex, desires,disappointments , and flashes of yearnigs. They are significant for their sensitivity to the cultural patterns they encounter, the attitudes they develop, and the myths that run through their being.
Some of them make poetry out of arguments with themselves; they are driven to understand themselves, their lives. Their 'personal' voice is animated by issues and arguments around the mind/body relation around what most people try to keep concealed-- the sexual feelings, the sensations of the flesh; like any good artist, they also seek to make life show itself. They write with the awareness of what is denied in our ordinary existence. the moral dilemmas, the betrayals, and the paradoxes.
Recent Indian English poetry adds to, what O.P. Bhatnagar terms as, a process of collective discovery, affirming its richness, sensitivity and cultural complexity. If we examine the potential of the poery-making mind in English, applying whatever literary crit4eria, we should now discover aspects of the essentially assimilative genius of the Indian people, snf a celebration of the vast chorus of voices that make Indian literature sing.
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