In the domain of Indian English poetry, few anthologies came out in past years so there has always been a sufficient void of a platform where poets (both emerging and established) of our literature may join together to show the strength of Indian English. In this chain, the present Anthology Contemporary Poets edited by M. S. Venkatramaihh (editor-Bizz Buzz) should be seen and judged seriously by Indian English poets & critics.
The present anthology carries some 102 poems by the poets of India and abroad and attempts to mirror the situation and status of Indian and Global poets. The anthology covers wide spectrum as it has included poems of mixed mood, not of any special one. The poems of Indian established poets like Hon’ble A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (the first), Dr. A. Arunachalam, Dr. D. C. Chambial, D. H. Kabadi, O. P. Bhatnagar, H. Tulsi, Dr. D. K. Chaudhry, Dr. K. Balachandran, Dr. K. Srinivas, Manas Bakshi, Dr. R. R. Menon, R. N. Sinha, Shankarsan Parida, K. B. Rai, P. K. Majumdar, Keki. N. Daruwala, Aju Mukhopadyay, Jasvindar Singh, Sumit Talukdar, Dr. V. S. Skand Prasad and others, on the one hand reminds us of the poetic excellence of these poets, while the younger and emerging poets like-S. A. Hazan, Meenakshi Hooja, Dr. Shujat Hussain, Sudhir K. Arora, Vihang Naik, Raghuraj S. Hegde, M. R. Venkatesh, Monima Chaudhary, and some poets of the student section etc. point towards the bright future of Indian English Poetry. The inclusion of foreign poets like Rosmary C. Wilkinson, Patricia Prime, Dr. Kazuyosi Ikeda, Norman Ross Todd, Bernard M. Jackson, Prof. Adolf P. Schvedkov, Hiresh Lazaar Silverman and Zoe Savina introduce us with the pulse and wealth of Global poetry & its standards.
The poem of O. P. Bhatnagar, ‘A. P. J. Abdul Kalam’ is worth-mentioning for both of them believe in universality. For example the poem of A. P. J. Abdul Kalam talks of a ‘dynamic youth’, cheerful in spirit who always ‘dreams of a greater deeds!’ but one day when doctors prescribe him ‘bypass for heart’ and ‘he went through the pain of treating his heart’, the poets here says motivationally:
I walked up to and held him in peace
Assembled my thoughts and asked him to read (1)
And the other notable poem of O. P. Bhatnagar arises a deep penetration inside when he asks:
When wasit when we were great?
When Aryans came before they came
Or after they divided and took routed
Riding the radiant was of this hand?
And when he adds:
We perhaps feel of the multiplicity
Of our gods: our strength to die:
The cellular nature of society and rule
Or the immortality of our soul
The British came in
Just to take over from there (23)
Besides, the optimistic fragments from the younger poets are also discernable;
That God feel the feelings
Of the lovers
And rewards them
With the object of their desire
(Dr. S. K. Arora Let Me Die with You’ 12)
X X X
Love has never grown old
Through the passing years
Nor hearts ever got cold
Shedding floods of tears
(S. A. Hazan-Ship o f Love-40)
The poems of the foreign poets Rosmary Wilkinson, Norma Ross Todd, Maria P. Zografou, Matei Monica, Prof. Adolf P. Sehredkov and Bernard M. Jackson are also no less interesting and expressive, as they widen our frontiers of knowledge and insight. Rosmary’s poem ‘Heal My Broken Heart’ carries universal appeal when he says:
Then only dialogue will come from all this—-
As I grow older, to truly witness such?
Human dignity, respect will replace the war—
Upliftment of mankind, peace yes, not so far afar?
Let us pray (97)
And the similarity can be seen in Norma Ross Todd (U.S. A.) ‘s poem ‘How Long’:
O God, how long wills your patience last?
This world needs your message of peace!
A world of love & brotherhood,
When wars and greed shall cease (74)
In the last of the book, an especial section of student is annexed in which students of various standard are included, which exhibits the blooming talents of Indian English poetry. The poems like ‘Mother’s love’, ‘Sounds of silence’, ‘True Heaven’ and ‘Oh! Nature, Nature, Nature, Nature’ are some notable examples of poetic talents of India.
To sum up, the exquisite collection of poems ‘Contemporary Poets’ has tried to open a new window to our upcoming student writers as well as matured and established columns. The Editor deserves hearty accolades for such arduous and painstaking job of editorship which he has been doing since long. I wish the editor hearty congratulations and expect that he will continue such editorial task in future.