Treasure Island

Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan

(October 22,1972 / Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India)

Autobiography Of An Award Winning Poet


I wanted a medal, and so I went
to the awarding committee vice president
and showed him all my poems and asked:
'Would you consider me for an award? '

'Your poems are all so simple and straight -
with no sign of style or high intellect;
even a school boy can plain understand them -
how can we award you for your poem? '

So I returned next day with a bunch of new
poems steeped in philosophy of high brow:
'Ah! the poems now look much better', he said,
'But which Party do you follow - Right or Left? '

I frankly said I belonged to neither,
whereupon he said, ''Your poems, my sir,
should follow some firebrand doctrine, or else
how can they the Jury's mind impress? '

'Casteism and Secularism are leading issues,
but you can write on Feminism, if you choose! '
So the next day I wrote a few poems based
on sheer madness: 'I am an Anarchist', I said.

'Ah! the poems are terrific! Now you get
a foreword written by an eminent poet,
and launch your book at a public gathering
by a celebrity of some social standing.'

'If my poems are good, then why this pain? '
I asked him, and he answered with disdain:
'Without propaganda, sir, your poetry's as good
as a chair with three legs that ever stood! '

So I went to a dying old poet of repute
and made him sign below a foreword I wrote,
and having had my book launched by a rising
young politician, I wondered: 'When the award's coming? '

'You will get the award', the vice president said,
'But you've still one thing to do, I'm afraid -
to ensure the book is well received by public,
please get it reviewed by a well-known critic.'

'What's an award got to do with a darned critic? '
I asked in rage, but his answer was as chic:
'Your poems are sophisticated, not easy to chew -
only a critic can lucidate your point of view! '

So I did as directed, and at the end
of a year, in Autumn, a letter was sent
to me, declaring they were only too glad
to confer upon me their top poetry award.

At a glittering function I did receive my medal,
but I swear, dear reader, before one and all
that as long as I remain in this world,
no more poetry for me - no more award!

Submitted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, October 08, 2013

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  • Snehith Kumbla (2/7/2014 7:13:00 AM)

    You out the hit the nail with the right hammer. Here is something that was always evident and hazy in the background and you have voiced words to it. (Report) Reply

  • Padmanabhan Ananth (1/25/2014 5:02:00 AM)

    So well written, so much sense and light bit of humour in the verses. Great write Tapan.
    Convinces me that a good poet must never crave for awards and recognition.
    He/she should just keep penning verses, creating beautiful expressions to thoughts.
    Like stunning sunrises, sunsets, like breathtaking trees that bloom in spring - who awards them? (Report) Reply

  • Veeraiyah Subbulakshmi (12/29/2013 9:39:00 PM)

    awards are the recognition to be remembered for a while or longer..But many people have lived in the minds of people beyond their time, as their works have had the values...the troublesome life of a writer is well expressed here, if we consider all these advices are from the supervisor, who guide the budding writer.. (Report) Reply

  • Patricia Grantham (12/5/2013 7:45:00 AM)

    An excellent write from top to bottom. To have to go through so many
    twists just to receive the honor of being an award winning poet. Too
    many barrels to jump over. Just be yourself. Enjoyed the read. (Report) Reply

  • Chitrangdha K (10/17/2013 10:42:00 AM)

    'Without propaganda, sir, your poetry's as good
    as a chair with three legs that ever stood! '

    these lines sum it all! ! its a treat to read ur poems! ! u succinctly put the stark reality in few simple words.. keep it up..way to go, Tapan (Report) Reply

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