Though poetry is an art by itself, in kavi sammelans (poets' gatherings)it becomes a performing art. While reciting his poem on such occasions from the Dias, unless the poet becomes expressive by modulations of his voice, his face, and his hands and in many other ways according to the feelings fleeting in the poem, no living communication is reached with the audience. Then alone the audience are drawn into the poem without any physical expressiveness, that is to say, if it is like sounds issuing from a loudspeaker, then the living link necessary with the audience will not be there. When a person reads the poem, without any physical expressiveness, that is to say, if it is like sounds issuing from a loud speaker, then the living link necessary with the audience will not be there. When a person reads the poem, all the nuances of the expressions of the poet when he recites it will be instinctively guessed by the reader. And there by the reader receives the full pleasure that the poem is pregnantwith.
The poet by writing a poem in a language is addressing only a fraction of the people imprisoned in that language. But a poem is the product of feeling and emotions, which are universal, while language is only regional. The poet has to reach the entire mankind expressing crossing the language, region, nationality and such other many barriers that divide mankind.
Translation, of course, has been helping the poet from times immemorial to reach all mankind: and that is how Valmiki, Shakespeare, Sophocles, Aristotle, Kalidas, Galib, SubrahmanyaBharathi, Kabir for that matter all the poets of all languages are the common heritage of whole mankind. While that is the fundamental truth of the art of literature, today's poets are in self-imposed shackles and not only that, they are also proud of it. They say their language alone is great and others are inferior. While poets are sinking thus into the mire of localism, the politician and the businessman are doing what the poet has to do. Indira Gandhi belonging to Allahabad contests the parliamentary election in some constituency in Karnataka miles and miles away from her place. Similarly the businessman establishes his business centers in distant countries among strange people, strange languages, stranger cultures, while, as said before the poet enjoys sinking into their own mire of localism glorifying his own language and region. The Indian politician, a product of Indian democracy, and whose chief characteristic is opportunism, raises language and region to the glorified level of political slogans to gather votes, while at the same time pretends that he is a nationalist or internationalist. This is the sorry pass to which or poor Indian literature has come to. Any change of this pathetic situation is not in sight anywhere in the near future. -
I am the drop of sweat, I am the sun
Rising from the hills of human sinews
Hearts are my friends
I live in the city of sufferings
Chased away by the human bazaars
Silence fled in to the hills
Time flows like water slipping
Out of the fingers
Vultures of darkness
Are eating my eyeballs
Ringing in the ears
Bereft of leaves, the naked branch
That spreads onto our balcony
Is the curvature of mystery
Which poses the question eternally
You may be a mere piece of wood
You are the one symbol of our labour
That raised its head
in the ancient years of the earth
O melody, hear me..
I am the doll made of your earth,
I am the living being
Breathing your air
I am the garden
Why is it blowing so fierce?
This gigantic storm
Sweeping over the country,
A dark heavy blast
It is surprising that the western literature was for centuries ignorant about the poetics of Aristotle, as L.J.Potts observes in his introduction to the translation of poetics. It is therefore not surprising that the West was not interested for long stretches of time after the days of Greece and Rome, on this discipline of literature called POETICS-
I was keen for years in gathering knowledge about the endeavours of different peoples of antiquity who developed old civilisations, in regard to the development of a science on POETRY and literature. Though I came across the fragmentary efforts of the Chinese people on the question of the causes of poetry, even before the Tang period, (for example Lu Chi's ‘Wen Fu' in the 3rd century A.D.) . There was no systematic evolution of a scientific work on the subject. May be my information is inadequate. However when I scanned across the Middle East on the corresponding periods and earlier, there was no evidence of any similar effort either in the Babylonian or Sumerian civilisations or the Egyptian. Perhaps much of the evidence of those periods has been lost irrevocably, leaving a vacuum up to the early period of Arab literature. The vacuum is amazingly, not confined to literature only but extends over the whole range of human thought, which means that the great civilisations of the middle east right up to the days of the fall of the Persian Empire and the Greek civilisation of the areas, have either sustained a serious loss of knowledge or did not produced such knowledge at all. However, it is quite reasonable to guess that in these areas in the periods corresponding to those of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle and Aristorchus and so on which is between the 5th and 2nd centuries
B.C., there should have flourished great knowledge in different fields and this body of knowledge could not have been any the less than what was witnessed in Greece and Rome in those periods. All historical accounts of those areas and around remaining today, indicate at this. And when I take into the range of my vision the entire land between Greece and china, my mind tells me that during those periods of antiquity when great civilisations flourished simultaneously, there must have been large intercourse of peoples and thoughts across their frontiers and human knowledge might have been evolved by mutual exchange of thoughts and influences. In the event of this probability, it may nt be correct to say that a certain branch of knowledge was developed in this country and was not in the other, and so on. I am inclined to presume that knowledge in those periods would have acquired the form of a long-chain of thought-influences across all these countries, as is witnessed also in our own times. If some of these countries show gaps today it is right that we should only infer that they lost that knowledge due to serious historical cataclysms but not that they did not develop those faculties at all.