Source : Times of India
Indian Diplomat-poet Abhay K launched his new anthology of poems titled 100 More Great Indian Poems at an event in New Delhi. The Diplomat, who has recently taken charge as India’s Ambassador to Madagascar, is passionate about poetry and was seen in conversation with journalist-author Chandrahas Choudhury at a power-packed event.
100 More Great Indian Poems is a sequel to Abhay K’s previous book titled 100 Great Indian Poems, which was released in 2018. In100 More Great Indian Poems, as the title suggests, Abhay has compiled and translated 100 Indian poems which moved him deeply from various languages including Hindi, Urdu, Hindustani and regional languages. Talking about selecting these poems, he said that his task was relatively easy as he “focussed more on great poems rather than great poets”. These poems are mostly contemporary, as compared to those which were selected and published in the first volume.
When Choudhury asked Abhay about how he got into poetry, Abhay said, “When I was posted in Moscow, I had ample time to reflect and that’s when I started writing poems. Some poems moved me and I became passionate about poetry.”
Talking about his new book, Abhay said, “This book is a work of passion. I first brought world poetry to Indian readers through my book Capitals. Then I took Indian poetry to the world with the first volume 100 Great Indian Poems which is translated into six languages. This book is the second volume which can be an excellent introduction to Indian poetry for readers. The book will appeal to both amateurs and professionals, and even to those who have no initiation into poetry.”
On being asked about the place of money in the world of verse by Choudhury, Abhay said that as a writer he wrote solely for himself. “Poetry is not about money. We write because we have a voice and want to be heard. As a writer, you feel on top of the world when you finish your book. Getting it published is the second reward,” he elaborated.
Later at the event, we asked the Diplomat-poet about the poets who inspired him and he promptly answered, “Ramdhari Singh Dinkar! My father was a teacher and we had lots of books at home while growing up. I first read Dinkar’s work when I was in class five; when I read the verses from Rashmirathi, they were magical. In fact, I read those poems often even now… I’m also very fond of Polish poet Wisława Szymborska’s works, especially her book Map: Collected and Last Poems. Also, T.S. Eliot’s collected poems. I have rewritten several of his poems in modern times.”
When asked about his upcoming works, he told us, “I have just translated and edited an anthology wherein for the first time I have translated 60 Brazilian poems into English. I also worked on a book during my stay in Latin America; it has poems from A to Z about Latin America and it is slated to release in 2020.”
100 More Great Indian Poems by Abhay K is published by Bloomsbury India.