Arun Kolatkar () was one of India’s greatest modern poets. He wrote prolifically, in both Marathi and English, publishing in magazines and anthologies . Arun Kolatkar’s epic poem, Jejuri, celebrates life in an Indian city – from its streets to its shrines. Amit Chaudhuri on the poet who deserves to be. A sequence of stunningly simple but haunting poems, Jejuri is one of the great books of Jejuri is a site of pilgramage in author Arun Kolatkar’s.

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Bombay in the 60s gave him these languages and also the transition between these worlds, the movement from street to library to aruun hall. After graduation inmuch against his father’s wishes, he joined the s b college of arts gulbarga of art, where his childhood friend Baburao Sadwelkar was enrolled.

The 60s, for him, were a time of reappraisal and ferment.

Pilgrims’ progress

Had they done so, our view of Indian writing in English would be a different, a more heterogeneous and unexpected one than it has been in the last 25 years. And the temples crack. While the answer is part rebuff, the list is indicative of the wide, fragmented sources he may have mined, and is worth quoting in full:. Many poems in Bhijki Vahi refer to contemporary history. They show a greater social awareness and his satire becomes more direct. In Marathi, his poetry is the epitome of the modernist as manifested in the ‘little magazine movement’ in the s and s.

To match this in his English translation, he sometimes adopts “a cowboy variety”: His early Marathi poetry is far more audacious and takes greater liberties with language. For now, Kolatkar’s influence – no less far-reaching, potentially, than that of Midnight’s Children – hovers on the edges; which is where, as we see in Jejuri, he liked to be. Poetry Society of America. The friends he met up with there were from the intermittently overlapping spheres of art and commerce, poets and friends from the advertising world in which, for many years, he’d made his living; but it was the low-lifes, the obscure daily-wage-earners, and the itinerant families of Kala Ghoda that he looked upon from the open window of the inn, and whom he’d been writing about for 20 years.


Mirjam Tuominen – Short Prose. Jejuri’s author was, by all accounts, content, even determined, that this was how things should continue to be.

Amit Chaudhuri on the poetry of Arun Kolatkar | Books | The Guardian

Jejuri was received with unusual enthusiasm by the standards of poetry publishing in Anglophone India but the critical response was unremarkable. I’m not setting up a crude opposition between the two writers here; Kolatkar admired Rushdie’s novel, as Rushdie does Kolatkar’s work.

He hailed from Maharashtra, India and he lived in a traditional patriarchal Hindu extended family, along with his uncle’s family. New Recordings Spanning Five Decades. While focussing on Bloodaxe authors and titles, this webzine aims to cover an even wider range of poetry and opinion.

The Butterfly – Poem by Arun Kolatkar

A verse-film by Damian Famous poets 24 Maya Angelou. Nov 07, 88 Pages Buy. All the same she is still an eight-arm goddess to the priest. Retrieved 23 August When asked by an interviewer who his favorite poets and writers were, he set out a large multilingual list. No topic is out of bounds… What is so delightfully unexpected, always, is his angle of attack. The proximity between the disreputable, the culpable, and the religious – a living strand in Indian devotional culture, and an everyday reality in places like Banaras and Jejuri – becomes, in the act of translation, an aesthetic.

David Troupes on Poetry, Comics and Time. Five in a row on the ground, topped by three on the first, and one on the second floor. You know how old women are. Kolatkar’s poetry orchestrates a play of scales: Poems on posters since His later works ChirimiriBhijki Vahi and Droan are less introverted and less nightmarish.

Near his death, he had also requested Arvind Krishna Mehrotra to edit some of his uncollected poems.

At the time, the book was not published internationally, and it was only available – though it had acquired a reputation as a key work of contemporary Indian literature – in limited print runs at a couple of bookshops in Bombay and, I was told, Pune. Jejuri offers a rich description of India while at the same time performing a complex act of devotion, discovering the divine trace in a degenerate world.

It was Katrak, himself a poet, who pushed Kolatkar into bringing out Jejuri. I don’t think I have to take a position about God one way or the other. By then Ppems Ghoda Poems was making waves and the snippets I saw here and there on the web and in Jeet Thayil’s 60 Indian poets whetted my appetite further.


About Jejuri A sequence of stunningly simple but haunting poems, Jejuri is one of the great books of modern India. And kolatkxr some of his own “Marathi” poems of the 50s and 60s are written in the Bombay argot of the migrant working classes and kolatksr underworld, part Hindi, part Marathi, which the Hindi film industry would make proper use of only decades later.

The poems evoke a series of images to highlight the ambiguities in modern-day life. Bilingual poet and anthologist Vilas Sarang assigns great importance to Kolatkar’s contribution to Marathi poetry, pointing to Kolatmar in particular as “a work that must give inspiration and direction to all future Marathi poets”.

Trained as an artist from the J. Kolatkar wrote steadily after Jejuri as he had before its publicationin both English and Marathi, but published only very sporadically in journals.

Retrieved from ” https: Archived from the original on 26 October You want to end the farce. Who’s Who of Indian Writers”. His early Marathi poetry was radically experimental and displayed the influences of European avant-garde trends like surrealism, expressionism and Beat generation poetry.

We are experiencing technical difficulties. The city was trying to rebuild its old poens and sense of personal and physical freedom after recovering from more than a decade of religious and economic divisiveness, and from having become the commercial capital of a globalised India.

And the sky falls With a plate-glass clatter Around the shatterproof crone who stands alone And you raun reduced to so much small change in her hand. While Jejuri can be considered as an example of searching for a belonging, which happens to be the major fixation of the previous generation of Indian poets in English, Kala Ghoda poems do not betray any anxieties and agonies of ‘belonging’. He died not long afterwards.