For the poet in every second man

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Shafey Kidwai

Words, once known for their obstinacy with ideas of sublimity, purity, aesthetic sensitivity and tranquillity of several emotions, now are used even by exponents of creative dexterity for painting trivialities of life as whiter than white. Superabundance of words gets on one’s nerve and there is a multitude of words that say nothing. In a world where profusely-illustrated text has gained acceptability, people always look for rib-tickling fun and words not layered with any complexity are much in demand and this leaves many wordsmiths exasperated. Widespread putrefaction of word is meticulously articulated by eminent Hindu poet Leela Dhar Jaguri in his latest poems and perceptive introduction which appeared recently.

He is clearly miffed at the tendency of using words that are intended to subvert their meaning. Words no longer betray a close affinity with several emotional ties that constitute what human life is all about.

Leela Dhar Jaguri, a Sahitya Akademi awardee in his introduction, “On the doorstep of poetry”, regrets that words are hardly used to map the terrain of human consciousness. The march of globalisation and neo-capitalism has completely altered dialectics of life and even literature is being used as a recipe for stagnation and corruption. For Jaguri, principles, ideologies and rationalism have deserted us and money power has emerged as the most significant ethical force which is downright harrowing as it will fill the whole world with dread. It is time for introspection and we need genuine and forthright words. We continue to falter and constant privation on this count will lead us nowhere. This can only be achieved if we look for an alternative to what the contemporary society offers, Leela Dhar Jaguri eloquently delineates.

What is the relevance of poetry and why do we need to go beyond entertainment dished out by the comedy circus? Turning to these questions, he makes a strong plea for poetry as whenever an event worth remembering takes place one recalls an old poem or it paves the way for a new poem. It is the domain of poetry to acquaint man with what he tends to forget. Poetry wipes out the miasma of opulence that takes a heavy toll on the creativity of man. Quest for worldly affairs hardly enables us to fathom what the good poetry suggests: poetry caters to elemental emotional need and it requires no formulated phrase or visible label. Collapse of language does result in new words and their music can be made audible by poets as they juxtapose new experiences with little known words and music.

Explaining the emotional outlay of his poetry, the accomplished poet says that he composes poetry because he wants his soul to be a part of universal consciousness. For Octavo Pazz every reader is the second poet and Jaguri strives for creating an urge for poetry in the mind of his reader and he never writes poems on the demand of the reader.

This brilliant introduction aside, Samkaleen Bhartiya Sahitya, a reputed quarterly of Sahitya Akademi in its recent issue carried his five poems that clearly manifest his ability to produce a creative antithesis of the dominant poetic discourse that always harps on fragmentation and subversion. His poems portray grim situation and sometime seem despondent with marked flirtation with hope. His creative world is not a microcosm of all our wickedness and dirty thoughts. Both meditative and spontaneous methods of exploring a new possibility of lived reality with a certain rigour deserve appreciation and his poems do not perpetuate the stereotype that not much seems going right in the world today. His poems can never be reckoned as regurgitation of the stalwarts of Hindi poetry.

Shafey Kidwai , “For the poet in every second man,” in The Hindu, April 30, 2015. Accessed on May 1, 2015, at:

The item above written by Shafey Kidwai and published in The Hindu on April 30, 2015, is catalogued here in full by Faiz-e-Zabaan for non-profit educational purpose only. Faiz-e-Zabaan neither claims the ownership nor the authorship of this item. The link to the original source accessed on May 1, 2015, is available here. Faiz-e-Zabaan is not responsible for the content of the external websites.

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