Arun Kolatkar () was one of India’s greatest modern poets. He wrote prolifically, in both Marathi and English, publishing in magazines and anthologies . Arun Kolatkar’s epic poem, Jejuri, celebrates life in an Indian city – from its streets to its shrines. Amit Chaudhuri on the poet who deserves to be. A sequence of stunningly simple but haunting poems, Jejuri is one of the great books of Jejuri is a site of pilgramage in author Arun Kolatkar’s.
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His poems found humour in many everyday matters. While Jejuri can be considered as an example of searching for a belonging, which happens to be the major fixation klatkar the previous generation of Indian poets in English, Kala Ghoda poems do not betray any anxieties and agonies of ‘belonging’. Brought out from a small press, it was reprinted twice in quick succession, and Pritish Nandy was quick to anthologize him in the poe,s collection, Strangertime.
Its been there for some years now.
I am reminded that, although it’s about a journey to a remote for many kolafkar town in Maharashtra, it’s less about the transformations of the journey than about a man who never left the city, or a cosmopolitan, modernist kolatar of the metropolis; that his journey, and his sense of travelling and of wonder, brought him back to where he was – and where he was is metropolitan, shabby, and dislocating. An Assessment and Selection,ed. About Bloodaxe Blogs Editor Bloodaxe Books A forum for comment, reviews and critical discussion wrun contemporary poetry from around the world.
The proximity between the disreputable, the culpable, and the religious – a living strand in Indian devotional culture, and an everyday reality in places like Banaras and Jejuri – becomes, in the act of translation, an aesthetic.
In Marathi, his poetry is the epitome of the modernist as manifested in the ‘little magazine movement’ in the s and s. Who was that, you ask. Inhe enrolled at the JJ School of Art and took his diploma as late as ; but by this time he was already a graphic artist in the vibrant advertising world in Bombay and was to become one of the city’s most successful art directors.
The friends he met up with there were from the intermittently overlapping spheres of art and commerce, poets and friends from the advertising world in arn, for many years, he’d made his living; but it was the low-lifes, the obscure daily-wage-earners, and the itinerant families of Kala Ghoda that he looked upon from the open window of the inn, and whom he’d been writing about for 20 years.
By then Kala Ghoda Poems was making waves and the snippets I kolqtkar here and there on the web and kolagkar Jeet Thayil’s 60 Indian loems whetted my appetite further.
Jejuri offers a rich description of India while at the same time performing a complex act of devotion, discovering the divine trace in a degenerate world. He wrote pkems, in both Marathi and English, publishing in magazines and anthologies frombut did not bring out a book of poems before Jejuriwhich won him the Commonwealth Poetry Prize and was later published in the US in the NYRB Classics series After his death, a new edition of the hard to obtain Jejuri was published in the New York Review Books Classics series with an introduction by Amit Chaudhuri This page was last edited on 3 December kloatkar, at Trained as an artist from the J.
But marginal endeavours have their own excitements, disappointments and dangers. That book won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in He graduated in and enrolled in a college of arts graduating in and winning many awards as a graphic designer.
It was only after he was diagnosed with oolatkar that two volumes were brought out by friends  — the English poetry volumes Kala Ghoda Poems and Sarpasatra You come out in the sun and light a charminar.
His later works ChirimiriBhijki Vahi and Droan are less introverted and less nightmarish. I made do for some years with pieces from Mehrotra, and also from Nandy’s viral anthology, strangertime and eventually, I picked up the NYRB re-issue with the Amit Chaudhuri introwhich was well worth it.
They show a greater social awareness and his satire becomes more direct.
Collected Poems in English | Bloodaxe Books
His Marathi poetry collections include:. His Marathi poems of the s and s are written “in the Bombay argot of the migrant working classes and the underworld, part Hindi, part Marathi, which the Hindi film industry would make aryn use of only decades later”. The Skull Beneath the Skin: We are experiencing technical difficulties.
Kolatkar was born in KolhapurMaharashtrawhere his father Tatya Kolatkar was an officer in the Education department. Looking for More Great Reads? It was clear that the poems were constructed with the same jaundiced eye that informs Jejuri – a similar disinterested view of events and juxtapositions, with the mythical elements replaced by the historical.
Reading at Needlewriters powms Lewes in January. After many years of struggle, he started work as an art director and graphic designer in several advertising agencies kplatkar Lintas. The remarkable maturity of poetic vision embodied in the Kala Ghoda Poems makes it something of a milestone in Indian poetry in English.
She wants a fifty paise coin. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Salman Rushdie called it ‘sprightly, clear-sighted, deeply felt…a modern classic’.
Chaitanya – Poem by Arun Kolatkar
About Jejuri A sequence of stunningly simple but haunting poems, Jejuri is one of the great books of modern India. Mirjam Tuominen – Short Prose. For a moment the length of a matchstick gesture after gesture revives and dies. Archived from the original on 8 July Along with friends like Dilip Chitrehe was caught up in the modern shift in Marathi poetry which was pioneered by B.
However, in his later Marathi poetry, the poetic language is more accessible and less radical compared to earlier works. The poems evoke a series of images to highlight the ambiguities in modern-day life. Sublime and satirical, comic and visionary by turns, close to the gutter but looking at the kplatkar, Kolatkar over many years became a Bombay bard to march, or outperform, the city’s novelists. Always hesitant about publishing his work, Kolatkar waited untilwhen he knew he was dying from cancer, before bringing out two further books, Kala Ghoda Poems and Sarpa Satra.
And so some of his kolxtkar “Marathi” poems of the 50s and 60s are written in the Bombay argot of the migrant working classes and the underworld, part Hindi, part Marathi, which the Hindi film industry would make proper use of only decades later.
His well-known prickliness about contracts came not so much, I peoms, from a feeling of neglect, as from a sense of allegiance to a sub-culture that had, by now, largely disappeared.
For the essence of the poem is a spiritual quest, the effort to find the divine trace in a degenerate world. And the sky falls With a plate-glass clatter Around the shatterproof crone who stands alone And you are reduced to so much small change in opems hand.