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Mar 22, 2022

Ecofeminism and Poscolonialism

 1. Postcolonial literature often addresses the problems and consequences of the

decolonization of a country, especially questions relating to the political and cultural

independence of formerly subjugated people, and themes such as racialism and

colonialism. A range of literary theories has evolved around the subject. It addresses the

role of literature in perpetuating and challenging what postcolonial critic Edward Said

refers to as cultural imperialism.

2. Migrant literature and postcolonial literature show some considerable overlap.

However, not all migration takes place in a colonial setting, and not all postcolonial

literature deals with migration. A question of the current debate is the extent to which

postcolonial theory also speaks to migration literature in non-colonial settings.

3. The significance of the prefix "post-" in "postcolonial" is a matter of contention among

scholars and historians. In postcolonial studies, there has not been a unified consensus

on when colonialism began and when it has ended (with numerous scholars contending

that it has not). However, the majority of scholars have agreed that the term

"postcolonial" designates an era "after" colonialism has ended. The contention has been

influenced by the history of colonialism, which is commonly divided into several major

phases; the European colonization of the Americas began in the 15th century and lasted

until the 19th, while the colonisation of Africa and Asia reached their peak in the 19th

century. By the dawn of the 20th century, the vast majority of non-European regions

were under European colonial rule; this would last until after the Second World War

when anti-colonial independence movements led to the decolonization of Africa, Asia

and the Americas. Historians have also expressed differing opinions in regards to the

postcolonial status of nations established through settler colonialism, such as the United

States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Ongoing neocolonialism in the Global

South and the effects of colonialism (many of which have persisted after the end of

direct colonial rule) have made it difficult to determine whether or not a nation being no

longer under colonial rule guarantees its postcolonial status.

4. Before the term "postcolonial literature" gained currency among scholars,

"commonwealth literature" was used to refer to writing in English from colonies or

nations which belonged to the British Commonwealth. Even though the term included

literature from Britain, it was most commonly used for writing in English written in British

colonies. Scholars of commonwealth literature used the term to designate writing in

English that dealt with the topic of colonialism. They advocated for its inclusion in literary

curricula, hitherto dominated by the British canon. However, the succeeding generation

of postcolonial critics, many of whom belonged to the post-structuralist philosophical

tradition, took issue with the "commonwealth" label for separating non-British writing

from "English" language literature written in Britain. They also suggested that texts in this

category frequently presented a short-sighted view on the legacy of colonialism.

5. Other terms used for English-language literature from former British colonies include

terms that designate a national corpus of writing such as Australian or Canadian

literature; numerous terms such as "English Literature Other than British and American",

"New Literatures in English", "International Literature in English"; and "World Literatures"

were coined. These have, however, been dismissed either as too vague or too

inaccurate to represent the vast body of dynamic writing emerging from British colonies

during and after the period of direct colonial rule. The term "colonial" and "postcolonial"

continue to be used for writing emerging during and after the period of colonial rule


6. The consensus in the field is that "post-colonial" (with a hyphen) signifies a period that

comes chronologically "after" colonialism. "Postcolonial," on the other hand, signals the

persisting impact of colonization across time periods and geographical regions. While

the hyphen implies that history unfolds in neatly distinguishable stages from pre- to

post-colonial, omitting the hyphen creates a comparative framework by which to

understand the varieties of local resistance to colonial impact. Arguments in favour of the

hyphen suggest that the term "postcolonial" dilutes differences between colonial

histories in different parts of the world and that it homogenizes colonial societies. The

body of critical writing that participates in these debates is called Postcolonial theory.

7. Postcolonial Literature Characteristics

1) Appropriation of Colonial Languages. Postcolonial writers have this thing they like

to do.

2) Metanarrative. Colonizers liked to tell a certain story.

3) Colonialism.

4) Colonial Discourse.

5) Rewriting History.

6) Decolonization Struggles.

7) Nationhood and Nationalism.

8) Valorization of Cultural Identity.


1. Ecofeminism is a branch of feminism that sees environmentalism, and the relationship

between women and the earth, as foundational to its analysis and practice. Ecofeminist

thinkers draw on the concept of gender to analyse the relationships between humans and

the natural world. The term was coined by the French writer Françoise d'Eaubonne in her

book Le Féminisme ou la Mort (1974). Ecofeminist theory asserts a feminist perspective of

Green politics that calls for an egalitarian, collaborative society in which there is no one

dominant group. Today, there are several branches of ecofeminism, with varying approaches

and analyses, including liberal ecofeminism, spiritual/cultural ecofeminism, and

social/socialist ecofeminism (or materialist ecofeminism). Interpretations of ecofeminism and

how it might be applied to social thought include ecofeminist art, social justice and political

philosophy, religion, contemporary feminism, and poetry.

2. Ecofeminist analysis explores the connections between women and nature in culture,

economy, religion, politics, literature and iconography, and addresses the parallels between

the oppression of nature and the oppression of women. These parallels include but are not

limited to seeing women and nature as property, seeing men as the curators of culture and

women as the curators of nature, and how men dominate women and humans dominate

nature. Ecofeminism emphasizes that both women and nature must be respected.

3. Though the scope of ecofeminist analysis is dynamic, American author and ecofeminist

Charlene Spretnak have offered one way of categorizing ecofeminist work:

1) through the study of political theory as well as history;

2) through the belief and study of nature-based religions;

3) through environmentalism.

4. While diverse ecofeminist perspectives have emerged from female activists and thinkers

all over the world, academic studies of ecofeminism have been dominated by North

American universities. Thus, in the 1993 essay entitled "Ecofeminism: Toward Global Justice

and Planetary Health" authors Greta Gaard and Lori Gruen outline what they call the

"ecofeminist framework". The essay provides a wealth of data and statistics in addition to

outlining the theoretical aspects of the ecofeminist critique. The framework described is

intended to establish ways of viewing and understanding our current global situations so that

we can better understand how we arrived at this point and what may be done to ameliorate

the ills. Building on the work of North American scholars Rosemary Ruether and Carolyn

Merchant, Gaard and Gruen argue that there are four sides to this framework:

5. The mechanistic materialist model of the universe that resulted from the scientific

revolution and the subsequent reduction of all things into mere resources to be optimized,

dead inert matter to be used.

The rise of patriarchal religions and their establishment of gender hierarchies along with their

denial of immanent divinity.

The self and other dualisms and the inherent power and domination ethic it entails.

Capitalism and its claimed intrinsic need for the exploitation, destruction and

instrumentalization of animals, earth and people for the sole purpose of creating wealth.

They hold that these four factors have brought us to what ecofeminists see as a "separation

between nature and culture" that is for them the root source of our planetary ills.

6. Ecofeminism developed out of anarcha-feminist concerns with abolishing all forms of

domination while focusing on the oppressive nature of humanity's relationship to the natural

world. According to Françoise d'Eaubonne in her book Le Féminisme ou la Mort (1974),

ecofeminism relates the oppression and domination of all marginalized groups (women,

people of colour, children, the poor) to the oppression and domination of nature (animals,

land, water, air, etc.). In the book, the author argues that oppression, domination,

exploitation, and colonization from the Western patriarchal society has directly caused

irreversible environmental damage.[10] Françoise d'Eaubonne was an activist and organizer,

and her writing encouraged the eradication of all social injustice, not just injustice against

women and the environment.

7. This tradition includes a number of influential texts including Women and Nature (Susan

Griffin 1978), The Death of Nature (Carolyn Merchant 1980) and Gyn/Ecology (Mary Daly

1978). These texts helped to propel the association between domination by men of women

and the domination of culture over nature. From these texts feminist activism of the 1980s

linked ideas of ecology and the environment. Movements such as the National Toxics

Campaign, Mothers of East Los Angeles (MELA), and Native Americans for a Clean

Environment (NACE) were led by women devoted to issues of human health and

environmental justice. Writings in this circle discussed ecofeminism drawing from Green

Party politics, peace movements, and direct action movements.

8. Four main ecofeminist principles:

1) Both the oppression of marginalized groups and the oppression of nature are

connected by cause.

2) We must replace our culture of domination with an ethic of care.

3) All forms of oppression are unacceptable—and interconnected.

4) Understanding these connections is necessary for equitable change.

Mar 21, 2022

Anglo Normans

 Anglo Normans is the age that laid the foundation of literature that is used by the later writers. The Bible was translated during this period and several reforming movements also started in the era of Anglo Normans.

Here is a video about the period.



Mar 17, 2022

Geetanjali Shree's "Tomb of Sand"

Geetanjali Shree's Tomb of Sand is one of that historical and groundbreaking novel that is nomnated for the Booker Prize for the year 2022. It is first of its type: a novel first published in Hindi and then translated into English. 

Thus it is one of those rare and also the first Hindi novel to achieve this fame. 

My review of the novel is as follows

You can join my YouTube Channel with the link given below



Mar 13, 2022

Rains and Rites: Mahapatra

By Bijay Kant Dubey  

A Rain of Rites by Jayanta Mahapatra opening with the first poem named Dawn and continues on with the poems, as thus, Village, Old Places, These Women, A Missing Person, Samsara, Five Indian Songs, A Rain of Rites, A Rain, The Exile, Listening, Summer, Ceremony, Main Temple Street, Puri, The Whorehouse in a Calcutta Street, The Sentence, A Twilight Poem, Appearances, Myth, Four Rain Poems, A Dead Boy, Moving, Silence, Dawn at Puri to the poems, Listening to a Prayer, Sunburst, On the Bank of the Ganges, Girl Shopping in a Department Store, A Tree, Indian Summer Poem,

The Ruins, Evening, Idyll, The Bare Arms in Packing Cases, Ikons, I Hear My Fingers Sadly Touching an Ivory Key, Somewhere, My Men, Hunger, An Old Country, The Desert under the Breath, Hands, Of Armour, This Stranger, My Daughter, India, The Landscape of Return, The Face, The Faces, The Tattooed Taste, Now When We Think of Compromise. A poet neither of rains nor of rituals, he is of a guilty consciousness, marking the malignant purpose in the nun’s eye, in the dark room, a woman searching her reflection, this is the samsara, a business of man, gods and priests and the worshippers, at land’s distance, there lies a mouldy village, resting rawly against the hills, the charred ruins of sun, the long-haired priest of Kali, putting the plucked and stolen jasmines of his villa, whose door never closed he as per his father’s instructions, as for to be put into the goddess’ morning eyes.

In the poem, Myth, the poet catches the incantation of the drift of years and the chants, the long years as the incense, man as worshipper coming and going, the same old and brassy bells laden with memories tolled and the scene recurring again with the same meditational sadhu in sadhna telling of the sanctum lying on the fringes of Annapurna and Dhaualgiri or elsewhere pointing to, but the poet dares not enter into the temple as myth keeps changing the track of, shifting from hand to hand, eye to eye, the offered, crushed and dried leaves and flowers smiling at him, maybe it that the bearded and saffron-man may ask f he a Hindoo or not. A poet so imagistic, he just keeps playing with words, frolicking with thoughts, ideas and images, coming as converted imagery, pure and distilled, but unexplainable, just as the scenes and sights continue to be, art-pieces seen on the canvas, how to describe them, how to penetrate into something very artistic?

The phantoms of time talking in whispers in the haunted houses

"Is there anybody there?" said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grass
Of the forest's ferny floor;
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller's head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
"Is there anybody there?" he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller's call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:--
"Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word," he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.
----Walter de la Mare in the poem, The Listeners

Jayanta Mahapatra as a poet is very much like the Walter de la Mare of The Listeners, Sea Fever of John Masefiled and Look, Stranger of W.H.Auden. The poem, The Listeners evokes the same sense of wonder, suspense and astonishment which Mahapatra seeks to infuse in his poetry. The phantoms of time talking to or unresponsive even after knocked by the unknown horse-rider in the woods or listening to from the haunted house and the horse meanwhile champing grass from the turf add to the suspense and curiosity of ours in Walter de la Mare’s poem The Listeners and similar is the case of Mahapatra when he talks of life and vegetation under the shadowed space, slipping through the doors of dreams.

Mahapatra’s Burden of Waves And Fruit as a collection of poems contains in Rains in Orissa, Another Day in the Rain, Events, Winds of Spring, Summer 1983, Summer Afternoons, A Rain Poem, The Voice, An Evening By The River, Trapped, A Time, At Shivaji’s Fort At Panhalla: Looking Across the Western Ghats, River, Shapes By the Daya, A Startled Sun, Twilight, An October Morning, Ann, 30th January 1982: A Story, This Is The Season of The Old Rain, Harvest, A Letter To Kazuko Shiraishi in Tokyo, Stone, May, Of A Dawn, Love Fragment, Song of The Bones, The Wind, Days, Sunday, A Summer Afternoon, Burden of Waves And Fruit, The Life, Stand By, Memory, Dust, Again The Rain Falls, The Dawn of A New Year, It’s My Room Once Again, The Hour Before Dawn, Waiting, Of This Evening, An afternoon, The Skies of Night, Talking of Death, The Looking Glass, Why I Am Afraid To Die, The Year’s Last Evening.

It is difficult to tell about a book of poems and that too an Indian English poetry text, not easily available in the markets, generally self-published and out of stock, frankly speaking, they often sell not, if acquainted with the writer, you will get a copy and if not, you will not get the text of even R.Parthsarathy’s Rough Passage and Mahapatra’s Relationship so easily, as flimsy in their assessment, even the libraries may not contain in forgotten and lost copies of the missing and unknown writers, even now Kolatkar’s Jejuri is not available. What to say of Nissim’s the first book of poems? I smile on hearing the urban pseudo-research scholars, the bluff master scholar and the bluff master guide, all saying great-great in their slangy expression.

Burden of Waves And Fruit which appears from Three Continents Press, Washington in 1988 is no doubt a good work written in the same style, the same expression which he often clutches with and strides along, the imagistic style, the imagistic portals of his and there is no change in Mahapatra and his visionary glides, dreamy flowing and glides, imagistic delving and dwelling upon and by dipping into the waters of nothingness, a poet of the space, the void and the vacuum all around. The things of the sub-conscious and the unconscious level take hilarity and wave around, a centre full of hibernation, there is nothing as concrete, but wavering in thought and idea, image and reflection, emotion and feeling, a neurotic man’s poetry is it, a half-addict’s smiles lie therein, a patient of insomnia thinking within and smiling within is the case with this writer with the base of physics, physics as his subject and he coming to poetry via physics, not literature.

The negatives of the photos are the things of his and he working in the studio to reflect upon, a play with light and shade, just like silhouettes, an artist pencilling images, the images of life similar the case with this writer of writer of physics, experimenting with the Big Bang theory, thinking about the origin of the universe, the space, the solar and lunar bodies, the limits of the skyline, a poet of nothingness, a poet existential and iconoclastic, making and breaking, joining and splitting.

Jayanta Mahapatra does not remain stuck to one theme, one title, he often goes slipping from his themes. A desperation pervads all trhough.

Why I Am Afraid To Die 
A thin wind.
Sands of the river where water floods and goes.
This rain shaking loose the old spelled earth.

My love for you is a selfish love,
wing of decit. .
Now to defy you with defencelessness
for a while,
dumb when you are so near.

What mystery did the sands conceal?
Walking through empty streets
the wind drops on my shoulder.
Any way across this earth, over the water?
How can one look when there is nothing to see?

Here all around, 
whatever it’s called, sky or wind ---
its beautiful mouth,wide open.
(Burden of Waves And Fruit, Three Continents Press, Connecticut, Washington, 1988, p.58)

Jayanta is a blank and to do blank thinking is the idle job of the poet. To be with him is to dip in nothingness, existentialism and skepticism. Poetry to him is a series of vacant thinkings, with nothing to do, nowhere to go. Optimism not, but pessimism too move side by side in his poetry.

An orange flare
lights the pale panes of the hospital
in a final wish of daylight.
It’s not yet dark.

In the children’s ward
under a mothe’r face,
the dead,always so young.
Water startles in the river’s throat.

Its cry:
a plea to share in its curse?

Somewhere, this twilight shall fall
and hide the whiteness of jasmines
about to bloom.

Newly-lit lamps
in the houses across the street
make me look out at the wet August evening
that holds up the vast unknown
in such small delicate hands.
            (Ibid, p. 23)

'Rains In Orissa' is a poem of coastal Orissa and its landscapic scenery. The eco-centric description is picturesque enough. Time, the sense of it is very strong in him and he cannot without relating to it.

Rains In Orissa
The sky’s face expressionless.
An oriole call echoes away in the sullen grayness,
the book of earth throbs with the light of things.

A pond heron floats warily in a rain pool.
Its face a mask, it pauses for another look around.
Grass everywhere is huge and moves forward to kill.

The fallen water stores a strange, cold darkness.
A yearning spreads through the vast blur of air.
Something like moss wells in the day’s green eyes.

How time sticks on to the face of this light.
And a graceless hibiscus is swallowed by its shrub of silence.
And lashes of wind give death back to the wild weeds.

Old fireflies invade.
Our efforts to escape turn to mud.
Then, the fatal touch of inaction like this country’s history (p.7)

A skyful night full of stars and the moon too takes him to vacant and reflective questionings of the self. Jayanta Mahapatra is a poet of some existential delving and he got it not through philosophy or literature, but through his study of physics, a study of light and darkness chapters. The poet may grow over the years, but his style will not change it, as the adage says it, style is man.

The Skies of Night
Sometimes there is this night,
a sudden sound wakening me from my reverie.
It is speaking my name maybe,
proclaiming something before the final hours,
a moonlight which raves as a delirious child
or some stubborn black root
screaming out of a cracked wall of memories.

It is as though something lies ahead of me,
a grave task I have to perform,
that lures my blood to war.
Or does the sharp blade of time I hold
turn in my bewildered hand?
What sound is it, growing from within,
that feels the false quiet of repose?

I know I am powerless to reveal myself.
Nor do I know how to hold my silence.
Perhaps the voice which returns at nightfall
and lies sleepless with me in my bed
knows it is too late to talk of peace.
My cries merely slide down its walls.
The lies give way beneath me. (Ibid, p.55)

A Rain of Rites and Waiting
Listening to a Prayer
“Stone cuts deep
A bell trembles,
touched by the pain
of countless people.

Across the temple square,
the wind
that settles on my shoulders
has nowhere to go:
neither a silence
nor an answer”
-----Jayanta Mahapatra in the poem, ‘Listening to a Prayer’ from A Rain of Rites collection (A Rain of Rites, The Univrsity of Georgia Press, Athens (USA), ibid, p. 29)

“In an impressive map of lime-washed childhood
can one straggle out,
shift the brutal bones of its boundaries?

The Siva linga,
the rhythmic susurrus of chants on wrecks of petals,
the cage suspended in every father’s just eyes.

Small patient birds here sing in the drawn-out summer twilight,
then fall silent to the night.
The trembling of dreams is everywhere, like the wind.

When we learned dumbly to grow,
we felt of ourselves abandoned in the wilds, in things not real,
full of the mysterious fog that excites the shadows of the spirit.”
----- Jayanta Mahapatra in the poem, ‘ India’ from A Rain of Rites collection
(Ibid, 50)

A book of poems, as such A Rain of Rites, brought out by the Univ. of Georgia Press, Athens (USA) , in 1976 carries it forward the imagistic portals. It’s difficult to say what he takes up and what he means, as it means not what he says, just goes on viewing, without any comments. You cannot summarize what he has as the meaning is not and the words turning on, without anything to reveal, just the things in a flux. Nothing is concrete, everything in a flux, floating and passing, so much abstract and condensed, with blank thinking and reflection. Dawn is the first poem to begin with, later taking on Village, A Missing Person, The Whorehouse in a Calcutta Street, Myth, Dawn at Puri, Hunger. Summer, Silence, Main Temple Street, Puri, Listening to a Prayer, Indian Summer Poem, Samskara, A Rain of Rites, tell of his poetic escapades. So deep in time, consciousness and flux, they take their own recourse as for reflection and shedding of light, so inner and internal. The lonely countryside dotted with the nondescript villages shaded by the bunyan and peepul trees, the mother and the daughter sitting in the mango orchard, the missing person and her image haunting. 

The title poem too likewise where the meaning is not, just the word-plays and fleeting images of the things in a constant flux, always coming, always passing. Most probably rains of the coastal region and the rites performed in the rock-built temples, but the mud-built houses the tales of his. They made the grand temples for faith’s sake and to house in the deities, not for themselves and the masons and architects remaining anonymous. The rock-built temples are splendid and grand, an example of architectural and sculptural excellence, but the beggars still visible at the entrances of the temples. Faith and doubt seem to put him into a conflict, if faith be so strong, why doubt seems to be lurking in, leaving the scope for?

The benefit of doubt befits him and he goes on revelling, dwelling and delving with the light, faith so frail, darkness enveloping and encompassing it all. The cattle coming back at twilight, drinking water from and returning back, the darkness enveloping the countryside just lie with the flickers of the oil lamp burning for sometime.

At The Burning Ground 
“The dead ones draw close, looking over
the edge along the river bank
where a new pyre fames high; the river 
curls sluggishly in thick smoke,
two grey wood pigeons as though half-awake
grope around like new ashramites in Rishikesh.
The spell of vermilion burns the flesh,
fires embroider the banyan bark of the mind.
All dead faces appear the same;
is it their silence which flashes on the water,
stands in triumph to my gesture of defiance?

I gaze long at myself in the river,
unable to make out thoser features
with which I am familiar;
only an unexpected darkness
that lives alone under the stone
is able to carry me home,
as though I had never grown up:
impertinent, wild child,
who would have to be taught his lesson.” (Waiting, ibid, p.33)

A son of the soil, an Oriya by birth and rearing, his mind can go nowhere barring Orissa, the Orissan scenes, sights and landscapes, rivers, hills, sea beaches, forests, lakes, bird sanctuaries, historical sites and scenery. The Morning I, The Morning II, Nightfall, A Country Festival, Taste for Tomorrow, The Earth of July, Bhubaneswar, Way of the River, Song of the Past, The Faith, Thirst, Thought of the Future, Orissa, Song of the River, Konarka, Dhaulagiri, Waiting, A Summer Night, The Temple Road, Puri, Afternoons, Learning to Flow Free in the Chariot Festival at Puri, At the Burning Ground, Dusk, Sun Worshipper Bathing, Sanskrit, Shrines, At a Ritual Worship on a Sunday Afternoon, Servility, Bazaar, 5 P.M., Old Earth, The Indian Way, Rain Sense, On What to Build Then, The Beggar Takes it as Solace, Living, Among the Trees, Fragments, in follow-up to them. A Poem to Mahatma Gandhi, Story at the Start of 1978, Sky, Strike Your Secret Earth, The Stranger, Movements, Walking Home at Night, etc. are the poems of their trend, type and tenor. A poet of poverty and hunger, belief and disbelief, faith and doubt, human lust and greed, twitches of the selfish body, things in a flux and indifferent time, he follows the track of his own.

Between the fear of losing you
and the losing
this body
of your words
opens and shuts doors
that time waiting behind

I attempt to fit mine
in words
that never belong to me
like the gentle rain’s quality
to the hard earth’s calling
between those fattened seconds
growing upon my needs
----Jayanta Mahapatra in the poem, Between (Svayamvara & Other Poems, Writers Workshop, ibid, p.22)

The voices 
in the darkness
of the summer night
to the flowers
over the earth.
I heard them not.
Nor did the night,
in winged flight,
love’s caress.
----Jayanta Mahapatra in the poem, Love’s Caress (Ibid, p. 14)

Whiteness of Bone, which appears in 1992, is a major poetical work of Mahapatra, the poet to be reckoned with, substantial and typical, as his Mahapatran poems are in reality , an exercise in word-play and imagistic turning, vacant thinking and random reflection. One from Viking, Penguin Books India, New Delhi, the work consolidates the poetic base of the poet with a foothold of his own, taking poetry, silence, waiting, time, light, truth and doors. His style is the same what it was, playing hide and seek with lyricism and imagism, light and darkness the matters of his revelation as there is nothing to be thematic, poetry is silhouettes, oil paintings, poetry vacant thinkings. Silent In The Valleys is the first poem to begin with, giving way to the poems, such as All The Poetry There Is, Afternoon, Shadows, Light, House, A Death, In An Orissa Village, The Dispossessed, Bone of Time, Summer Afternoons, The Time Afterward, To A Young Girl. The Hill, In The Darkness of The Night, Doors, Farewell, Dawn, Red Roses For Gandhi, Song of The Homeless Girl, as the poems appear to be thematic outwardly, but are never, never so and one may not write a line about as for to substantiate it. While reading Mahapatra, one needs to keep in mind that The ‘Dawn’ poem of A Rain of Rites is different from the ‘Dawn’ poem of A Whiteness of Bone, there are similarly many poems pertaining to waiting, rains and rites, morning, noontime, evening, nightfall, summer and so on. A poet of relationship, with his relationship with the land of his birth and nativity, he is very, very private and personal in the use of his imagery and reflection, imagistic and linguistical which making him postmodern and postcolonial.

Jayanta Mahapatra’s The False Start, which appeared in 1980 from Clearing House, Bombay, begins with A Day of Rain poem, followed by more, such as Suppose, Today, Absences, The Gift of Night, Poem For Angelia Felston, Another Evening, Last Sadness, The Gradient of Dreams, Through The Stone, Woman In Love, A Sailboat of Occasions,

Bound, The Secret, Slum, Pain, The Rain Falling, After The Rain, Time Drawing In, The Mountain, The Storm, The Rising, The Accusation, A Sense of Adventure, Shadows, A Sense of Obvious, The Moon Moments, Ash, The Day, A Kind of Happiness, The Day After My Friends Became Godly And Great, The Years Down, The House, The Retreat, Tonight I Hear The Water Flowing, The Hour From The Window, Steps In The Dark, the poems one by one to continue with again, The Door, The Abandoned British Cemetery At Balasore, India, The Evening That Is To Come, Measuring Death, A Certain Refrain, the poems figuring in to confirm it that he is absurd, existential, a poet of the void, the shadowy space, who to answer his questions, what is this world, why are we here, what the purpose of living, what does it stay here, who is what, who can but say it?

A poet of Orissa, singing of Orissan landscapes, fields and fallows, the azure of the skies meeting the lands somewhere, coming close to, the sea, the rivers, the hills and the beaches, the tourist spots and centres. A poet of Orissa, its cartography and topography, its demography, he maps the natural wealth and resources of it, demarcating the areas of the coastal state of India. Puri, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, the hub of his poetry, moving from one temple to another, from the Jagannath Puri temple to the Lingaraja temple to the Konark Sun temple. Existential, nihilistic and reflective, he is a poet of waiting, absurdistic, writing the poetry of the absurd, as nothing is what it seems to be and what it seems to be is nothing and our life a study in useless waiting.

A poet regional, historical and sociological, he is many-faceted, as because his base is not one of literature, but of physics, trying to delving deep into light and darkness, where does it flash upon from , where does it retreat back to?

A poem named ‘Pain’ from The False Start may be chosen as for to dwell upon:

The dark tree that stands
over the fields of my blood
has failed to leaf and bud.

Why must it cut across my blood?
I must try to understand it well.

Pursued over and again
by the sky’s heights,
it holds itself fast to the mist of time,
giving my mind little rest, small shelter.

Where are the inessential leaves
that commanded the heart,
disturbing those clouds which only are
the secrets of the sky?

When will my eye return,
that has been swallowed by the sky?
What ceremony
veils its world? (The False Start, Clearing House, ibid, p.30)

Jayanta Mahapatra's waiting is an absurdist waiting, as the characters keep waiting in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, who is Godot after all, why do the tramps wait for?

Similar is the case with Jayanta Mahapatra's poems dealing with time, wait and futile turn up, an absurdist drawing from existentialism and nihilism as the space full of vacuum, nothing is nowhere and man alone in the cosmos. Jayanta Mahapatra is a poet of waiting, waiting for uselesslessly as all our todays and tomorrows have shown it to be, who waits for what and which is what? Whatever be that, let us begin with Jayanta's Waiting, a collection of poems written against a historical backdrop of penetration. Though the collection appeared from a small press, it begins with The Morning-I, telling of a morning in the stride and clasp of a sweeper girl with human excreta and while on the other, in the second morning poem, a starkly naked Jain monk calmly walks down the road determined. At The Burning Ground, Dusk, Fragments, A Poem For Mahatma Gandhi, Sky, The Stranger, are the poems of a type. But many of it, dealing with Orissa the land of his birth and nativity, more specially Puri and Konark and there is nothing more to find thematically, just personal and private reflections abound, those of the physics class and its theories of light. A Country Festival, Taste For Tomorrow, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, Konark, Dhaulagiri, The Temple Road, Puri, Learning To Flow Free In The Chariot Festival At Puri, are the Orissa-relating poems. Published in 1979, Waiting is one in the same tread of the Mahapatrean poems, a poet of bewitching silence, he just sees life in the intricacies of relationships, conspiring against with the fickle mind always in a flux, the moments as bubbles appearing on and vanishing, nothing as mementoes or memorabilia to tell of, everything but in the dustbin of time to be cleaned again.

Jayanta Mahapatra’s Shadow Space, published for first time in 1997, opens with Living In Orissa poem, followed by Landscape, A Hunt of Grief, 1992, Heroism, Trying To Keep Still, The Shadow of Day, Widow, Saving Ourselves, Illness and others to tell the story of same kind and narration as they mean it not, what he says and what he means. Abstract and reflecting, he is a poet of light and darkness, random descent and random reflection, nothing is what it seems to be and what it seems to be is nothing. There is nothing as that exists and this forms the poetic base of the poet, the vacuum writ large over the space infinite. Bazaar Scene, Possessions, Aftermath, Season, Still Life, June Rain, Village Evening, The Quiet, Greeting, Raining, Cloak of White, Defeat, Shadows, Octave, Walls, Denials, The Fear, Enterprise, Awe, Afterward, Life, Ashes, Late, The Stories In Poetry, telling the tales in their own way, what the poetic tale, what the poetic truth, the poetry of nothingness that he writes, life but an absurd waiting, that he relays to. Abstract thought, blank mood, vacant thinking, pervade the poetic spirit of the poet, the colours of loneliness that he sees and feels, the toy clockwork of poetry, what makes one wait, a brief history of losses never to be written, obscure face, the blue sky hanging above his palms, shadows can never open their mouths are the things of his reckoning. His is a poetry based on suppositions, a lot of proposition, a lot of conjecture is therein and the poet contradicting and contrasting, Comparing and presenting, laughter always on the lookout for grief is similar to Hardy’s happiness is but a bubble in man’s life and Gray’s obscure destiny of village forefathers, childhood sitting in shadow to remember and to see the changed appearances.

Jayanta Mahapatra is a poet of just suppose you and had it been; just think you, had I been not, what would have happened, had you been not, what would it have? Why does the sun shine everyday? Why does it radiate and glow down daily? Where do the retreating rays or beams go to? The things of astrophysics continue to hold its sway over him. Who can say about the sunrise and the sunset as we seek to know about light and shadow?

I am afraid of the loneliness
I would share with you.
Some time
you must tell me,
so that I may know:
have you made me unjust?
As I complete the picture of a man
who calls his dog, pets it,
to make such things of life his own,
I hear again and again
a small explosion.
I try not to think of it at all,
but it keeps sounding
like a blare of my heartless laughter.
----Jayanta Mahapatra in the poem, A Poem To Mahatma Gandhi (Waiting, Samkaleen Prakashan, ibid, p. 55)

Mar 9, 2022

World History (Going After Ukraine)

By Bijay Kant Dubey

The pages of world history

Are smeared and smudged with bloodstains
And it is but a study in warfare and invasion,
Bloodshed, violence and annexation
And Ukraine can be no exception to that.


They Will Finish It Ukraine



I am but sure of,
They will not let it live
If this could be the bombardment and hostility towards,
Can they not discern it warmongering tendency?
Can they not think of man and his predicament?


I Am Disturbed By The War On Ukraine



Not feeling so well
By my heart and mind,
I feel it disturbed internally
By the war on Ukraine.




Is war on his mind,
Not love in his heart,
Only war, war on the minds-cape?


O Divine Providence, Show You Mercy To Ukraine And Save It From Destruction!



O Divine Providence,
Have mercy, mercy upon,
Upon Ukraine
And save it,
Save it from damage and destruction,
We seek for Your Clemency!

O divine Providence,
Heavenly Power,
Up-above the Skies,
Intervene, intervene You
To save it, save it, Ukraine!


I Am Awe-Struck, Aghast To See Ukraine Bleeding


I am awe-struck,
To see Ukraine bleeding,
Dumb-struck and speechless
To see the gory scenes and sights
Of war, mindless war,
Fighter planes hovering over,
Striking, bombing,
Tanks moving into,
Civilian areas being targeted
And the people running for cover.


I Feel It Disturbed To See Ukraine Bleeding


I do not feel it well,
I feel it unwell
As for mindless bombardment
Carried out on civilian areas,
As for the offensive,
Loss of lives and casualties,
Fighter planes hovering,
Sirens wailing
And the innocent people suffering.



Is War On The Mind Of Putin?


Is war, only war
On the mind
Of Putin,
Can he not
Without war,
Only war,
War on his mind?


What Will You Get In Destroying Ukraine?


Why to snatch happiness
From the people
Which used to be a part of the USSR?
If you had not to give freedom,
Why did you?
Let it live,


I Cannot See Ukraine Bleeding



My heart aches to see it war-ravished,
Embattled, exhausted and wearied,
Fatigued and waylaid.


How Much Aggrieved And Disturbed Am I For The Mindless Bombardment And Shelling On Ukraine!


How much aggrieved
And disturbed inwardly,
How much painful is it to feel
For the people suffering,
Children and women in trouble,
Their poor destitute and misery,
Affliction with!




O God, What Am I To See It Here? (For Ukraine)


O God,
What am I here
To see,
O God,
My God,
Mindless bombardment,
Heavy shelling
To see,
And women
In blood,
O God,
If You are anywhere
To see it from!


My Heart Aches To See Them Fighting (Ukraine Chapter)


On one side Russia, Belarus and pro-Russian soldiers
While on the other Ukraine and its international supporters,
But who is there to extinguish the fire flames, douse it
Rather than fuelling the flames?


Om Shantih Shantih Shantih, Who To Chant For The Russo-Ukrainian Ongoing War?


Where the sage, great sage to chant
Om shantih shantih shantih,
Shantih shantih shantih
For the factions engaged, engaged in war,
Who, who there to chant the peace mantras
For to keep it unruffled,
Where, where the Buddha delivering his sermons,
Peace sermons,
Where, where that sentinel to come, come to,
Where, where the messenger of peace to negotiate,
Negotiate and talk to all parties?


When I See Ukraine Writhing In Pain (2022)


Ukraine lies it besieged,
And what am I to see it
Barring the rubble, debris
Of the poor destitute,
Hapless people of the war front?

Ukraine has almost turned into a war-field,
Who is it to bail out of crisis
When all are talking war
In this critical time?


Just See The Face Of Children, The Face Of Women Before Inflaming War In Ukraine



You just try to see,
The face of children,
The face of women
Before bombarding,
Shelling on Ukraine,
Attacking with launchers and missiles,
The face of children,
The face of women
Before going for the offensive!


God Help You, Ukraine!/ Ukraine Is Bleeding


Nights full of 

Heavy bombardment, 

Shelling and massive gunfire,

Rocket and missile attacks

With the sirens wailing,

Tanks moving into

And the fighter planes hovering over

And the people running for cover,

An escape from the loss of life and casualties. 


War On Ukraine


How has war affected



How has it hit civilian areas,

Buildings and complexes

Bringing humanity to a standstill?


Wailing sirens,

Heavy shelling, massive gunfire,

Mindless bombardment,

Striking fighter planes targeting!


But when will it return to normalcy,

When will peace prevail upon,

Will it be negotiated,

When will happiness be on their lips?


O God, Save, Save You!


O God, save You,

Save You Ukraine

From mindless bombardment,


War on humanity!


How To Avert The War!


How much grieved am I

To see children, women

In war-ravaged Ukraine,

Oh, anybody could bail of crisis

Befalling it!


War Scenes


Into a war-field

Has it turned,

Missiles hitting the complexes,

Rocket launchers targeting civilian areas,

Sirens wailing

And the fighter planes hovering over,

Bombardment carried out,

Heavy shattering the dreams,

How horrific, terrific the scenery!


City After City


City after city lies it shelled,

Devastated and destroyed,



Bombardment continuing upon civilian areas

With war crimes committed,

Ukrainian cities turning into ghost cities,

War taking a heavy toll upon,

How to get out of this destruction and bloody 

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