New Login   

Harbingers of Revolution

Saroj Nagi

Edited by Nasira Sharma
Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi, 1979, pp. 48, Rs. 45.00

VOLUME V NUMBER 6 May/June 1981

All translations cut both ways. While, on the one hand, they rarely cap­ture the nuances or flavour inherent in the original or even measure up to the fervour enshrined in it, they do serve in reaching out to a wider audience. This, latter aspect is especially and signifi­cantly heightened when the original in question is starkly socio-political in its content and has, as one of its primary aims, the creation of a widespread awareness of an unjust socio-economic and political system and its destruction. The volume under review serves this task only partially. An anthology of poems that deals with the conflicts manifest in the social, political, economic and religious life of Iran during the last three decades or so does, at the outset, call for a brief introduction which would deli­neate the contemporary history of the country or explain the reasons account­ing for the emergence of this poetry of revolt. An introduction of this kind would not only have added weight to the poems by providing a backdrop to them but would also have given the general reader a clearer picture of the issues involved. The book contains the English as well as the Hindi and Urdu translations of the Persian originals, many of which have been published for the first time here. It, therefore, makes itself available to wider section of readers. The fact that both Hindi and Urdu can claim close literary linkages with the Persian’ langu­age makes the task of translating them relatively simpler and the end-product· emerges as more palatable and true. The English version (barring three poems) translated by Keshav Malik, creditable though it may be, is an attempt at mir­roring a reflection and as such—not surprisingly—suffers from certain lacu­nae. Based on the Hindi translations of the Persian originals the English version ~ropes in its attempt at capturing both the rhythm and the imagery. However, the poems included in this anthology do succeed in bringing out the essence, the fervour and the ethos of the Iranian struggle. While for most of us the struggle is closely identified with the Iranian revolution of 1978-79, the book by dipping into the clandestine literary output during the three decades or so preceding the revolution, gives to the perceptive reader a glimpse into one of the many strands contributing to the building up of a movement of socio-political discontent. ...

Table of Contents >>
Please or to Read Entire Article

Free Access Online 12 Back Issues
with 1 year's subscription
Archive (1976-2011)
under construction.