Bijay Kant Dubey


In India, It's Impossible, Impossible To Be An Indian English Poet, It's Impossible, Quite Impossible - Poem by Bijay Kant Dubey

Hey, in India,
The India of the mass
Diverse and varied,
Where the sun blazes hot
Like a fireball
And the scorching summer
Bats with heat and dust,
It's impossible,
Impossible,
Quite impossible
To be a writer of verse.

The men in the dhoti and kurta,
Khadi clothes and a topi,
The pyjamas, kurta and beards,
The women in saris
With th ghunghata
And the burquawallis
Under the burkha,
The burkhawalli mems,
It's impossible,
Quite impossible to be a writer
Of English verse,
To be an Indian English poet.

Hey, what to say,
Those who cannot write poetry
In their native tongues
Are trying to be poets
Here
In the absence of the English
Who left India for ever
Without settling in here,
But see you,
Those who do not know English
Are also calling themselves
Poets,
Poets not,
But Milton, Shakespeare, Wordsworth,
Shelley, Keats, Browning.

Hearing their English, think we
Whether they speaking in
Hindi,
Haryanvi Hindi, Punjabi Hindi, filmy Hindi
Or Bhojpurian rough and tough Bihari loafer's Hindi,
Indian train Hindi
Connecting the south with the north
Or in Urdu
An English girl going with
The quawwals, shayars and ghazal-singers not,
But with the conservatives.

He raring their English, think we
If they in English
Or in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada
Doing the kathaka
Before a rock-built temple,
But keep you not the devadasi,
Punishing her life-long
as she not a statue of stone,
But of flesh and bones
And man not pure,
The priests and guards,
All sinful.

On hearing them, seeing them,
Feel I differently
As for to be in a diverse ethnicity,
Some speaking in Santhali,
Some in Mundari, some in Ho
Tribal languages,
Some in Tibeto-Chinese,
Some in Sikkimese,
Some in Naga languages
And some in Assamiya group of languages,
Some in Manipuri and Mizo languages
And their dress, attire too peculiar
One of the woods and the museum
And the Mongolian, Neapali, Bhutanese, Tibetan borders.

While crossing over to,
Seeing the site for the poetry conference or meet
In English
And that passing through Bihar
And its stretches of lands,
Gangetic and paluteaus,
Saw I people speaking in regional dialects
Bhojpuri, Magadhi, Angika and Maithili,
The Bhojpurians rough and tough
With the danda
Feared I, dreaded I most
The milkmen
Mixing pond water in milk
And those milkmen's sons and daughters
I could not select them as verse-practitioners.

The blunt, bogus and bluffing milkmen's appointees
Saw I as the professors of English,
Most of them ruffians
Spoke they English bluntly,
Not as the good boys,
But the bad boys,
Those who had not to be professors
Were made
Through recommendations,
Taking money,
Those who had not to be
Also turned into professors,
Unable to pronounce
And none but hose after learning English
Calling themselves poets,
Not of their tongues,
But of English.

Topic(s) of this poem: art


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, October 26, 2014

Poem Edited: Monday, October 27, 2014


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