When you write about your feelings, it is authentic. When I write about your people I don't feel fulfilled as a writer: I don't find my face floating above the words
I use my body in assessing my lines. If they give me goose-flesh I use them. If they do nothing to my skin I don't touch them. They will be dead lines, like dead skin.
For Kamala Das the most important quality for creativity is authenticity. Mamta Kalia thinks of creativity as 'a lone man's battle against the enormous uncertainty of this universe'. Nissim Ezekiel has 'always taken the idea of waiting for a poem seriously
', and for Arvind Krishna Mehrotra 'a poet is someone who gets up every morning with the terrible feeling that he's never going to write another poem'.
In this book of conversations with eminent Indian poets writing in English, the first of its kind, Nissim Ezekiel, Arun Kolatkar, Kamala Das, Keki Daruwalla, Mamta Kalia, Adil Jussawalla, Gieve Patel, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Imtiaz Dharker and Melanie Silgardo provoke, analyse, meditate. The in-depth interviews with Eunice de Souza cover background, beliefs, ideas about poetry, each poet's development and other work done such as translations and plays. The book includes biographical notes on the poets as well as brief discussions of their work.
About the Author:
Eunice de Souza, a distinguished poet, is Head of the Department of English at St Xavier's College, Mumbai. Her publications include four books of poems - Fix, 1979; Women in Dutch Painting, 1988; Ways of Belonging, 1990; Selected New Poems, 1994 - criticism, book reviews and four books of folktales for children. She is the co-editor of Statements (1976) and the editor of Nine Indian Women Poets: An Anthology (OUP, 1997).
ARVIND KRISHNA MEHROTRA
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