Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Slipshod criticism on poetry and emerging poets
IFP Bureau | First Published: March 22, 2020 08:39:06 am
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-By Thokchom Imosana

I begin this write-up with the critical view of T.S. Eliot, “Poetry is an amusement, though a superior amusement…Apart from the variety of ways in which poets have used their art, with greater or less success, with designs of instruction or persuasion, there is no doubt that a poet wishes to give pleasure, to entertain or divert people.”

As a further compliment of his, my penny plain assessment is that every stroke and line of all the poets sustain  philosophical truth as they have been reeled out under an influence like that of a psychic in his transcendental state. Though I am neither a literary critic nor a good poet, I could say their words are purely individual and a reflection of what is felt in their world. And to comprehend all the thought of an individual mind is not an elementary task especially for a beginner or a row reader unless he is an expert or a psychologist. Of course he can go through it a bit, without being able to grasp seriously of the whole idea connoted in the works. This is the crucial reason why there is dramatic decline of readers and audience of poetry.

I am secretly worried with the trend of the love of poetry, that I feel I should discover certain means so as to minimise the obstacles faced by a reader in understanding a  poem. It is a general truth that no one likes to devote his time and energy over an arduous business, without counting exception, though everybody fancies the sweetness of  fruit . My intention is, averting to consider the quality of the work,  to find out the steps and its motivational approach on the way to get it and take the  flavour equally.

Firstly, I would like to make an earnest appeal to all the poets to look fowards to the current situation in the movement of poetry, it may include the global context too, the kinds of readers or audiences.

Reflecting anything whatever it comes in his mind,  without reviewing the quality of the product, seemingly,  ignoring the audience is not a good example. It can sometimes matter the survival question of the asthetic values of poetry and also the prestige of a poet. Who knows in the next few decades, poetry can  be then obsoleted. On one side there is rise in the growth  of  the love of fictions and short stories and multiplying numbers of crowd in films and electronic visual entertainments over the years.

For poetry sake and and a lover of the art of writing poetry, I wish to take up some amount of expedient solutions. My limited experience and thought have told me that graphic representation or pictorial depiction  about the main theme of the poem could be an advisable step.  I think this can be  of a  great help to a reader to ease his weight in understanding the emotion of the writer of the poem.  Or a short description and prelude- like a brief introductory about the writing  must be the another primary focus area to reduce and remove some of the impediments . This can give the reader some hints on his  way to develop  his imagination about the poem and  to enjoy the essence of poetry.

For instance, if a picture is given on the top of the poem, suitable to the title or some pictures related about the poem, then the reader can pave a way to form his imagination in a gradual pace ;  as in the case of the title of a poem,” In The Marshy Ground”,  if a picture of marshy and wet place is shown. And I strongly believe that this could capture the attention of the reader  to a great extend, so that it can also enhance the value of the poetry.

In a cinematography or a stage play there are high demands of complicated techniques such as light and sound systems, graphic, camera, etc. besides  the story line, setting and appearance of the actors. All these equipments and techniques decide the fate of the modern cinema. Therefore, there is still no want of audience for this industry. Similarly in a poem also  such additional art is important to attract the reader’s mind.  Truly speaking, I know it is quiet ironical to bring  poetry in to comparison with cinema.  But my small idea says it bears basically the same in a sense that both are the medium through which we express emotion, passion, anger, contemplation, etc.  of the existing situations.

So, I coin this in my own terminology “poeti-graph”, which means the induction of a picture into a poem based on its theme.  It is an art to catch the attention of the reader, however, it sounds ridiculous and stupidity if the complier   or  the reviewer attempts  to insert a portrait of the poet, which is actually not relevant to it as it is not thematically related. Or  writing a brief summary of the poem at its foot-end and providing a glossary of the given context give no use in the sense that all these  may mar the essence of the poetry.

Therefore, I would like to urge the reviewers and compliers to consider at least something for the general reader also, by keeping a view that all are not a serious reader like you.

In regard to the diction or the language, I have no comment to say that it must be rustic or refined. It can be any of the type,  he can employ according to the situation demands , as we see in the case of a psychic under his trance, he translates the world he sees vividly  into his own natural urge, as he is free from any  bound. So, I can undoubtedly say there is no restriction for the choice of diction.

But for the poetic devices, he must be crafty. It is a kind of sweetening ingredients, which is purely artificial. The words he has uttered must be recorded nicely and then he can remix  them with such agents after he comes back to his sense from his transcendental world. Re-organisation and re-composition is a needful task for all of the products or the resultant of every poetic fantasy.

For rhyme, metre and length,  there is no guaranteed . Let him relate in his own style and to his adrenaline flow. Whichever he sees in his world, whichever his excitement is active , let him relate up to the end. Therefore, no intervention should be given in his transcendence. And  no re-organisation or trimming  in this domain.

Without which  the number of readers will reach on the verge of declining.  Therefore, it is  mandatory for the emerging poets to be  conscious of the present changes. They must be skilful in remixing, and  must have some ideas in  fine art, graphic art, photography; if not any of them  he must be a completist.  Only that  he can publish his works or emotions  successfully  under “poeti-graphs” to save  poetry  in the world. And then we can hope for blockbusters  in poetry also.

(The writer can be reached at

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