Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Poetry Should Be Subversive

Here's Simon Armitage averring that poetry should be subversive. Thank God! In the poetry soirees and meetings I have attended I got the distinct impression that poetry should be strictly traditional, follow rules, and should be grammatically perfect. A lot of poetry I write is experimental poetry, things I fiddle with, say, as I do with my musical instruments, or, admit it, with my prose. Like this blog, for example. 

What happens when people have a lot of say but don't have the skills or the models or mechanisms to say it. It often leads to confusion and disorientation. One starts repeating film dialogues, or worse still, advertisement jingles. How many times has this jingle passed through your mind and you have actually sung it?

Washing powder Nirma
Washing powder Nirma
Doodh ki safedi
Nirma se ayee
Rangeen kapda bhi khil khil jaye!

Actually the situation demanded something more uplifting from the classical books of poetry. How many times has conversations in groups veered off to imitation of Ajit's "loin" and Jagdeep's "Surma Bhopali?" When we don't have loftier things to quote we descend to the pits. Sigh!

Don't look only unto Shakespeare - here I mean classical poets - for poetry. Look up local writers, attend poetry readings, encourage poets. I have been approached by students who have written papers on my poems. (My poems are all on my poetry blog.) Some teachers have approached me for help in teaching my poems in schools. I have smilingly assented to all this. Poetry is an art and art is for the masses. So there!

I am @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. I blog here. View my Youtube Channel Page. Read about my novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

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