Time to shift towards Hindi & Sanskrit poetry? My realisations

Reading poetry can be more than fun or pleasure if you are careful enough to take home the messages that these poets have for you. I have been reading poetry for many years now. I have been a student of English literature for a long and thanks to my academic background, I was introduced to the best and the worst of English poetry in those years of hard work and mind-boggling examinations. However, in the past two years, I have been drawn more and more to reading Hindi poetry and also the original Sanskrit texts and Hindi translations of the same. Believe me, I have been feeling how rich our poetry and literature have been…

First of all, there is nothing against English poetry. I like many Indian English poets and also admire English poets like Eliot, Arnold, Shelley and Tennyson… many more but these are above all. I also admire poets from other languages and their English translations – French poets like Charles Pierre Baudelaire and Jules Laforgue. However, nothing will take away my deep appreciation of the poets that I have read in these two-three years. Nirala, above all, has captured my attention the most. His poetry is complete in many ways and you will feel it once you start reading him, any collection and any poem. Suryakanth Tripathi Nirala, the famous Hindi poet and worshipper of Hindu Goddess of Intellect and wisdom, Saraswati, captured all that he saw, he felt and he realised.

Many other Hindi poets who have impressed me with their talent and poetic craft are Makhanlal Chaturvedi, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, Jaishankar Prasad, Dinkar, Mahadevi Verma, and a few more… These poets have discussed life, ways of life, philosophy for life and many other sentiments and emotions that will lead people towards better thoughts, better life and better pleasure to be extracted from poetry. If you want to start your journey in Hindi poetry, don’t go with some mediocre contemporary poets who have little or no regard for the beauty of language and aesthetics of poetic craft. You should begin with any of the above-mentioned legends and you will find your time worthwhile spent.

My illusion with English poetry broke after I realised what these poets were doing in private and what they prophesied in public. Recently discovered hatred towards the Russian literature, artists and art by the European countries and the USA exposes the mountains of hypocrisy on which these nations stand. Wordsworth and other peers of this poet lectured the world on humanity and supported the French revolution. However, they never wrote a line about the British empire that sunk the suns of many other countries just to invade, loot and murder millions. How could they sleep at night? The British and English literature stand on very thin ice and it’s time we break it into pieces and let these hypocrites sink in the blood they poured out of human bodies…

Hindi poets, poets of Sanskrit, the mother of all languages, poets writing in Tamil and other regional languages in India wrote for humanity. Theis subjects and themes were not limited to any specific region, religion or idea. I can safely say the same even about some of the Indian English poets like Aurobindo and Tagore. However, the beauty and variety that we find in Hindi and Sanskrit poetry can never be matched by others writing in English. So, if you want to witness the true art of brevity or the epic art of prolonged Hindi verse and Sanskrit poesy, do read some of the poems you love. You will only find yourself elevated to higher consciousness for a brief period and once you learn to enjoy the art of the true artists of verse, you will enjoy it much better.


By Rajdeep for Book Reviews Online