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The Lyrical and the Prosaic

Nomaan Shauque

By Anita Verma
Rajkamal Prakashan, New Delhi, 2003, pp. 112, Rs. 125.00

By Katyayni ; Vinay Dubey
Vani Prakashan, Delhi, 2002, pp. 191; pp. 88, Rs. 180.00; Rs. 100.00

By Ajit Kumar
Kitabghar, 2001, pp. 96, Rs. 90.00


In an era of prosaic thought in Hindi poetry Anita Verma’s collection Ek Janam Mein Sab (All in One Life) comes as a pleasant surprise for the reader of pure poetry. Her suggestive style leaves a lot for the reader to ponder upon—a quality that makes the difference. A malaise very common in poetry is to say anything and everything without any endeavour of churning a poetic experience. A tinge of romanticism laced with climatic imagination is the forte of Anita Verma (born 1959).   She has nature for company every time she sits down with her pen. Snow, trees, rivers etc. are the paraphernalia she exploits to create her poem. She has explored a whole new world for herself. The directness of contemporary Hindi poetry has harmed the cause a good deal. The modern poet is so obsessed with superficial realities that the undercurrent of life remains at times untouched and unexpressed. Anita Verma has the passion and the vision to see beneath the ups and downs of life without giving a furious vent to her wrath. She is calm even when the content is apt to blast her mind and soul. This detachment lends a unique discipline to her poems.   A refined, mature exprssion and a capability to negate the self in almost all her poems are rare phenomena. Things happening around her sharpen the edges of her words. Though there are far-fetched images, like the 17th century English Metaphysical poets, these images never leave the impression of being “yoked by violence together”. Lengthy poems in Hindi nowadays seldom strike any chord in saner circles. The words get inane and the reader is left blank and confused. Anita Verma knows what kind of poems suits her talent best and never ventures into a realm alien to her. Her poetry’s horizon sparkles with different colours borrowed from nature. An aroma of love and a sense of longing have been generated with bare use of cliches.   Katyayni (born 1959) is amongst the most vociferous female voices of Hindi poetry. A revolutionary soul reflecting the brightness of a burning filament in her writings and illuminating the dark corners of the sordid life of a woman. The fire within her metamorphoses her poems in Jaadu Nahin Kavita (Poetry is not Magic) into a sarcastic predicament. Her long poems lose effect as they lack the lyricism a reader of poetry desires for. The ...

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