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Mangalore: Poet's job to militate against tyranny - Ashok Vajpeyi


Mangalore: Poet's job to militate against tyranny - Ashok Vajpeyi

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore

Mangalore, Jul 14: A poet’s job is to militate against all forms of tyranny, more against the tyranny of uniformity. Plurality of the world, time and truth - are the essential ingredients of poetry. If the world around us is uniform without any variety or when it becomes predictable there cannot be poetry. A poet is born out of a deep sense of mystery and wonder. The world can do without poetry but poetry cannot do without the world. A poet is born out of the love and lure of the world - this was the essence of the James and Shobha Mendonca endowment lecture on poetry 2013 delivered by renowned poet, critic and cultural activist Ashok Vajpeyi here on July 13, 2013.

The lecture was organized by Kavita Trust in association with SDM PG Centre for Management Studies. Despite a rainy evening the auditorium was packed with enthusiastic people who were keen to listen to Vajpeyi and he lived up to the expectations of the people with his talk on various facets of poetry delivered with a dash of humour.

“My childhood was not spent in English and I don’t dream in English," he said quoting what he had told in an earlier interview to a T V channel on why he was not writing poetry in English. “We are living in the most violent times where we are witnessing more than 100 civil wars, armed rebellions and terrorist activities. There is violence in the market, in industry, in fashion, in entertainment, in sports and in domestic circuits. We are being told that there is no alternative and we have to accept what is given to us. But this is something which poets cannot accept. Poetry is born out of imagination and poets are born to think different alternatives," he declared to a packed audience at the SDM College of Business Management auditorium while dwelling on the relationship between poetry and the world around us.

Referring to our tendency to listen what other say, a diatribe directed at our propensity to hook on to television he stated “poetry cannot be written if hope for change is dead. The job of the poet is to dream. Sadly our country has reduced its intellectual and creative class to be mere observers and listeners. This is cutting into our humanism”. Describing that there are two kinds of pressures on poetry he stated that while news reveals truth immediately, each poem is half truth. “Poetry demands yourself in the act of truth giving”.

Describing the relationship between poetry and the world as complex and multi-layered one, he pointed out that language is not the creation of poets but it an inheritance given to them by the society. “Only literature or poetry has the capacity to transform people from one time to another and it can also make another time come to you. Poetry is also a way of remembering or recalling”.

Pointing out that major religions of the world have their religious books written in poetry, he said that it has been a gift given by poets to religion. Religious, linguistic and cultural issues matter a lot in this world. The job of literature is to tell that this dichotomy between them and us is false. Poetry acknowledges this simple reality that other things also matter a lot in this world.

Commenting on the relationship between poetry and politics he pointed out that when poets show allegiance to any party or ideology they are bound to fall into some trap. Coming down heavily on the media he stated that language is under serious assault from media which is using it in a most irresponsible manner. He went on to add “Poetry doubts itself and that gives poets the moral right to doubt others. I am a seeker of truth, a seeker of reality. But mundane becomes the basis for poetry. Good poetry has to be both social and political but a poet need not become overtly personal or overtly social”.

Vajpeyi stated that in poetry there is an epic degree between a sense of beauty and a sense of responsibility. “You can read beauty in terms of responsibility and find beauty in responsibility itself," he declared. Vajpeyi concluded his lecture by reading a few of his poems.

His lecture was followed by the question answer session. During the course of his lecture Vajpeyi had stated he was a nonbeliever and he was asked why most poets tend to be non-believers. He negated this point and said most poets were believers. But for him poetry is god and he cannot serve two gods. He also asserted that being a non-believer does not mean absence of spirituality.

On the occasion, he presented a signed copy of his book to James and Shobha Mendonca. William Pais, Trustee, Kavita Trust introduced the poet and Kiran Parmar compered. Melvyn Rodrigues, poet and president of Kavita Trust and others were present.

 

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Comment on this article

  • Dr. Cajetan Coelho, Goa, India

    Sat, Jul 27 2013

    Poets have a vital role to play in the remaking and reshaping of Society. Inspiring thoughts by Ashok Vajpeyi.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Leslie fernandes, Brahmagiri, Udupi

    Sun, Jul 14 2013

    POETS HAVE ALWAYS VOICED AGAINST TYRANNY AND SO MANY WERE THRASHED DUE TO THIS...
    A TRUE POET IS A TRUE PHILOSOPHER AND HAS LOVE FOR LIFE BUT NO LOVE FOR HIS OWN LIFE, EXTRA WELL BEING OR MATERIAL THINGS...
    SOMEONE ASKED A PERSON
    'ENU MAADUTTHEERI NEEVU...?'
    POET SAID
    'NAANU KAVANA BAREYUTTHENE...NAANOBBA KAVI...'
    OTHER PERSON ASKED
    'ADU SARI AADARE OOTAKKE ENU MAADUTTHEERI...???'
    SO MANY HAVE PERISHED WITHOUT PROPER FOOD AND SOCIAL ATTENTION...
    ONLY WHEN DEAD PEOPLE REMEMBER THE MUDDANNAS AND THE PREMCHANDS...
    THIS TRAGEDY OF LIFE WILL BE VEHEMENT AND WILL PREVAIL...
    'MAKE HIM A STAMP AFTER HE IS GONE...'

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Agnel D'Silva, Katapadi / Dubai

    Sun, Jul 14 2013

    very good efforts from Kavita trust to bring national level poets to Mangalore and share thier knowledge and expereience with our local poets. Congrutaltions to all the team members of Kavita Trust. Wishing you all the best.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Abdul , Udupi

    Sun, Jul 14 2013

    your views and thoughts are wonderful.

    As you said it is also true that we are experiencing the worst scenarios in domestic, national and international level and we may have lost our true human values.It may a tragedy, However let us be optimistic, work together to build constructive & peaceful society & Country.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Wilfred Tauro, Madanthyar,Dubai

    Sun, Jul 14 2013

    Well said Mr.Ashok Vajapeyiji...nice coverage and photoes. I wish Kavita Trust all the best, I wish more and more cultural events and samvads will happen in Mangalore. Well done Melwynbab.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

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