Book Reviews

Review Published in HINDUSTAN TIMES

An Anthology of New Indian English Poetry


The pages of the Anthology crackle, crisp, many foreign- returned
Names shine and sparkle
But its Indian English,
True blooded, blue blooded Indian
Burnt brown in the summer sun
Mindful of light breezes, magnolia,
And other such nostalgic
scents.

Fear and Trepidation, ugly Spirits
Rise in my head
As with rusted mind, I slip
Past a well-put, smooth, elegant preface.
Modernism is dead, says the editor
(And he, after all, should know)
But, hope, long live Post-
modernism.

Avant garde, Irony, Scepticism
Alienation, Dogmatism, Narcisism
All dead, thank God.
Now we will not believe
Nor will we be non - believers
It’s not necessary, after all,
Oh, the comfort
Of being nothing at all.

I wonder what new isms,
God in a Godless age,
Shiny new passports
To intellectual limbo
Will rise from the ashes
For covetous new generations
Of poets and critics
But Rejoice

In their cloudy vagueness
Drink to their abstruse rhythm
And fractured contour
And mock the pretending Masters
Of verse and pedantic lyricism
Meanwhile, in lines brutal, frank
And simple, almost like prose
Tell it like it is.
(With apologies to all post
modern poets).

Navtej Sarna.
1993