Saturday, December 6, 2008


Lost in the mirage
Making no way out
I sat dawn with despair
Gloomy and disappointed
Tired to pray
The Lord of mercy
To have pity on me
And sail my life boat
Upto the shore of death.
But we are men!
We are human beings
Fettered and shackled
By invisible chains
Of ‘Karma’ and ‘Maya’
So we’ll have to suffer
Endless pains and throes
To purge our souls and

We’ll have to live.

Friday, November 16, 2007



I foster
Many carbuncles within me
Nourish and look after them.
Despite knowing its pain
Despite aching without complaining.
It oozes and its sore
In the form of sighs
And mute cry,
I behold it is LOVE,
It is the most painful SORE
Gnawing me, my within
Is filled with these cankers
Of pain-
I find no panacea for it

We See Only

The evening
In a constant but slowly motion
Creeps into the firmament
Of Heart;
The green leaves look black
The Blue Sky looks Dusty
Darkness makes everything
Black and Vague
The air touches the eyes
Like we touch the flower.
We are tossing like a huge tree…
In the utmost moments of thoughts
We are freezing and melting.
We find darkness growing within
Which we find hard to reach
Which look beyond perception
And beyond the capacity to catch and
Hold, we are just thinking of…
And it, metamorphoses
Into Night.
We see and see only.

Sans Direction

I see monstrous change
Into the values of Humanity.
Do I still call myself
A Man
Or simply we put on clothes and
We are not animals and
We call ourselves man?
Our giggling! Our laughter and our smiles
How hollow!
How rotten!
Can this civilization save it
From its doom! Or Ruins-
No perhaps not.
This is somewhat tough to say
How a man’ll be overall the master of
We don’t know where’re we running
In which direction?
Towards the shore of ruins?
Or towards the bank of Destruction?

Mute Agony

There are thousands things
Which I see but keep mum.
There are hundreds of events which
I face and don’t say at all
There are enormous pains
I took within my heart
Remain immune to every thing.

It is ungovernable power
Before which we are bowed dawn
It is unfathomed darkness
Where I am lost
I am searching
The cause of my Agony
Soon I find myself
Deluded- dejected- desolate.


To me
You give thousand moments
Of love to ruminate
Multitudinous opportunities to feel
But see me
How unfortunate I am
Who cannot even pay my regards
To You,
When I start thinking of you.
A vast sky open before me
To fly.

A Tribute

Your memories
Ignite my passions
Your thoughts numb
My within
Your words
Torch bear my path
I still search you
In the vast crowd of world
But I know
You’re still beyond my reach
Sometimes you covet me
My desires- But I don’t
Even think of leaving my
Tenacity- Towards you
For You’re
My love-

My Prowess

I search you
In my home
In my rooms, galleries,
Arena and Almirah, books
And in my diaries
And I find you
Smiling everywhere,
My Heart fills with
Emotional ecstasy and joy…
I run faster in the race of life.

I waited you
A thousand times
When I was blue
And found myself confused
Perplexed and stood on the
Threshold of obscurity and
At that moment my whole
Life appeared to be PARADOX,
But You’re standing aloof
And apart, standing
Silently gazing and watching
I was continuously getting defeats
In the war of Life and Ambitions
But you’re only gazing me
Each defeat of mine’s conferring me
Multitudes of pain
Each pain conferring me endless
And stood silently
Said Nothing-
Posed not even formal sympathy
Posed not even acquaintance-

I was continuously standing
In this rain of misfortune
And you said nothing even-

I don’t grumble-
Nor complain
But you would know
I never staggered
I never stumbled
I moved on
Kept on moving with full
Might and main-

Now I live alone
But I am unable
Fill your place-

Life is A Tale

Life is a tale
We listen to it and
Leave it saying-“it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound
And fury-signifying nothing.

But ‘No’
It is a song, lyric and a saga.
If we hum it from the lips of
It is an Ecstasy
If we dance in its magnificence-
Forgetting our BEING.
It is an OCEAN
If we plunge into it,
We’ll never find its Bank
Nor its Depth; Nor its Edge,
It is unfathomable

As the Blue SKY
It becomes a flower
If we sow it in the field of LOVE,
It becomes a star,
If we look it into the sky
It becomes a PEARL.
When it drops from the
Tear-laden Eyes of-


I wish to go in the loneliest,
Go and drown myself into pain.
I quiver in the deepest agony.
I feel myself absolutely helpless.
I behold many pictures mute; yet
Relating stories of shrieks, and sighing.
I keep quiet say nothing, for
It’s against the rules of self-respect.
But sometimes
I weep, I sob, I cry
For I fail to check my emotions.


We’ve become cool,
Cool for Pain, cool for pleasure
Neither we exhilarate in joys
Nor evaporate in sorrow,
Neither we mould ourself according to
The definition of the world
Nor we cut off ourselves from it
We are on the horns of dilemma
Thinking for nothing at all
Imagining for Naught
We hope for the Brightest dawn
But it comes wrapped in yellow
And folded in fog light of Sullenness.


Now we feel no shame
In being Naked.
We have put off all the
Clothes of Culture, Thoughtfulness
And Trivials and trifles.
We feel no wonder
In showing our trueself-
Which is nothing but a
Farse and false.
We have absolutely
Given away our soul
To the buyers of Body.
We’ve purchased
Everlasting foolishness-to
Foster our Being of imitation.
We are Xerox copies of the
Falsity and the unripped in US.


How tedious is the Life
The shores of hope are shallow
And the minds of men are Hollow
Thoughts murmur and quiver within
Show affinity, no any kith and kin.
The paths of delight are untrodden
And Goals and Aims of people are rotten
The faces of World are stricken with awe
The shape of life is rotten and raw
The world is the story of strife
How tedious is the life.


In you I found
And a soft simple feeling
Surging plainly.
I was ever a mariner
In this ship of life.
You were always flowing,
Your ungovernable affection
Made me feasible to life.
My dormant feelings got expression
And prosaic life.
Knew meaning.
Every destructible thing was
Appearing animate and live.

I cannot express it
Neither thank You!
For I am ever a mariner
And would always be.
I have to alight from
This ship of life
Some day or other.
Tell me who am I
To say I miss you!
Who am I to ask and query thee.


I hoped-
Setting sun to another blissful dawn;

I wished-
Red sky will red remain
And black night will stay away-

I aspired-
Flowing winds will turn to breeze
And keep blow’

I desired- this and that
I pined for many things.

But listlessly standing here
On the full bloom of night
I remain silent
And never even murmur-
Knowing dreams are as
Short lived as winking of an eye.
Visions are as brittle as glass
And life is a hard rock
Man is only an iconoclast.


Life is a conviction life long
Till death.
Man feels guilty of living.
He passes his days
In this prison house of the world
God punishes him.
He hurls punishment on him.
Some men grumble
Some men remain silent
Some revolt
And some thinks it fate’s
Icy hand on their neck
And rest all.
Live sans expression
Sans feeling
And die after all.


I look around
And find the world of NOISE,
The world of LIES.
I try to say
And stay myself
Considering-it will be a cry
In the wilderness

Research Papers


Dr.Shaleen Kumar Singh

“To the unique phenomena of the unprecedented growth of indo-English literature during the post independence era, Indian male poets have contributed fairly a good deal of verse, which is worthy of critics’ attention”(SCIEV), is aptly remarked by A.N. Dwivedi, a notable Indian English critic in his collection of Critical Essays on male poets. In the contemporary situation, Indian male poets have enriched all the genres of literature as well as voiced their notions on almost each and every theme from political situation to social disorganization, from love, fantasy, and sex to human foils and foibles, from rapid development of Science and Technology to rapid decline of ethical, moral and human values and gross realities that are being faced by modern man and woman also. As recent Indian poetry in English is no longer the shadow, it has become the substance, nor is it an echo but a potent voice worth listening to. It has acquired its own identity on the global scene and has become the synonym of success. A large number of male poets like Nissim Ezekiel, Keki N. Daruwala, V.K. Gokak, R. Parthsarthy, Krishna Srinivas, Dom Mores, O.P. Bhatnagar, D.H. Kabadi, Pritish Nandy, Keshav Malik, H.S. Bhatia, V.S. Skanda Prasad, Syed Ammeruddin, Baldev Mirza, I.K. Sharma, H.S. Bhatia, I.H. Rizvi, Prakash Joshi, R.N. Sinha, Suresh Chandra Diwedi, Niranjan Mohanty, P. Raja, Narendra Pal Singh, Mahanand Sharma, Aju Mukhopadhyaya, G.K. Kottor, Tabish Khair and a numberless more have penned on the Indian women with their own viewpoints and angles. Owing to this reason, there is a need of comprehensive discussion over the title. The purpose of this paper is to make an in-depth study in the poetry of Indian English male poets who have represented Indian women
We can commence with comment of O.P. Bhatnagar who remarks:

“The milieu, ever since Indian poetry in English came to be written has been one of change, due to the influence of the western notions of love, individuality, freedom and equality of woman on one hand, and industrialization, social reforms, education and economic independence of woman on the other.”

Talking about the poetry on the Indian woman, the factors of development in the field of education an outlook cannot be under-rated if we take contemporary poetry into account. Modern poets have witnessed the idiosyncrasies and eccentricities of the present time and their poems bear the testimony and tale of such bare realities of life of man and woman.
Nissim Ezekeil, the first Post-independence Indian English poet who gave Indian English poetry ‘A local habitation’ and a name, though he is of Bene Israel origin, he possesses a strong sense belonging to India, the country of his birth and living. His poetry covers a wide range of subject and variety of expression and vivid pictures. In the poem ‘On Bellasis Road’, he makes a graphic picture of Indian woman:

“I see her first
As colours only
Poised against the faded
Red of a post-box
Purple sari, yellow blouse
Green bugles, orange
Flow on her hair
A moment later
A sense her as a woman
Bare as her feet
Beneath the shimmer.” (IVE 3)
In the earlier poems of Ezekeil, we find the themes of love and woman both similar to the themes of Kamla Das. B.K. Das observes:

“He (Ezekeil) looks at love and woman from a man’s point of view as Kamla Das views love from a woman’s point of view. Flattery and bold advance are necessary for ‘survival and success’ in love and married life.” (CEP 24)
According to Ezekeil Sex and Sensuality are a part and parcel of life and in order to accept art one has to affirm sensuality for Ezekeil believes in art for art’s sake. In his passion poems and Nudes Sex moves centripetally and physical satisfaction of love holds the key in the poems. Some other poems like ‘Two Nights of Love’, ‘Recluse’, ‘Jewish Wedding in Bombay’; the consummation of love remains predominant. As Ezekeil examines a situation clearly and express it in his own words in on outspoken manner while observing a situation on which a woman was wood by a man in an unmistakable term, he says:
“You are a wonderful woman, he said
And she laughed happily
Having heard it before from many men
To see her naked
And to know how she surrendered
Who was so hard and vain
In that moment of mutual deception
And almost lovable.” (CEP 24-25)
In his ninth collection ‘Hymns in Darkness’, he makes the woman appear in the role of sex objects where he describes this intimate scene between man and woman in a calm and cool way:

“Don’t she says, don’t
Conniving all the same
Short of tearing her clothes
His using all his force
Soon his had what he wanted
Soft, warm and round.” (CEP 26)
In another poems lime ‘Motives’, ‘At the Party’ and ‘At the Hotel’, the persona of his poems looks at the woman from the point of view of male protagonist and his poetry in mostly satirizing doting on the man-woman, their manners and behaviourial norms, relationship between the spouses, their sexual preoccupations and the environments through which all the persone in his poetry have to pass the biological point of view and takes it as a normal instinct in man and woman. Sex should not be a myth but a reality like other realities of life; this has got to be described through in an artistic way:

“Ethereal beauties may you always be
Dedicated to love and reckless shopping
Your midriffs moist and your thighs unruly
Breast beneath the fabric slyly plopping.”(ibid)
B.K. Das observes:
“Ezekeil uses unconventional words like ‘unruly thighs’, ‘plopping breasts’, ‘midriffs moist’ and describes female anatomy as well as garments in his poetry.”
Ezekeil like Kamla Das and Shiv K. Kumar uses erotic vocabulary in his poetry and makes an objective look at the realities of life. Here the comment of Prakash Joshi can summarize his poetry when he says:

“Mr. Ezekeil is a poet of body who loves the nakedness of woman as the work of God though she may manifest his in the form of a bitch.” (49)

“A.K. Ramanujan”, who according to C.N. Shrinath:

“is a fine craftsman with a super control over his medium in a fair response to his poetry.” (CEP 29)
Some critics of A.K. Ramanujan find in his poetry the syndrome of expatriation, alienation and obsession, yet quite a few speak of Ramanujan’s rootedness in his Hindu experience and his ‘Indian sensibility sharpened and conditioned by a western education’. Family is the nerve centre of Ramanujan’s poetry. Most of his poems have their origin in poet’s recollected personal emotions and have a touch of nostalgia and pathos. His description of woman is catalogued in many forms of woman as mother, wife, daughter (widowed daughter). His poetic outputs namely ‘The Strides’, ‘Relations’(1971) carry distinguishing features of autochthonousness, Indian myths, symbols, people, customs, rich cultural and spiritual heritage constitute corpus of his poetry. The image of Indian woman by Ramanujan is drawn with his portray of family in some of his remarkable poems like ‘Of Mother’, ‘Among Other Things’, ‘Love Poem for a Wife’ and ‘Small Scale Reflections on a Great House’, where ‘Family, the theme haunts the poet and there are some other poems which owe their origin to recollected personal emotions and deal with his memory of relations. In the light of this view ‘Of Mothers, Among Other Things’ is a soft soothing poem which encompasses the mother’s youth, her unerring care for the ‘Crime Cradles’, her devotion to her worth unmindful of the rains and the fluttering loose Saris and her painstaking responsibilities. He says:

“My cold parchment tongue licks bark
In the mouth when I see her forth
Still sensible fingers slowly flex
To pick a grain of rice from the kitchen floor.”(TS,26)
Another poem ‘Love Poem for a Wife’ highlights the poet’s sense of estrangement from his wife but there is no such writing of the heart and the tone has softened considerably in portraying the lean and thin but lovely and charming face of poet’s wife:

“My wife’s face still fast
As sleep as blessed by
Butterfly, snake, ship rope,
And grandmother’s other
By my only love’s only
Insatiable envy.”(Rel.,5 )
The poetry of A.K. Ramanujan is a projection of his feelings through the invention and structuring of images particularly Indian Hindu life where woman is circumscribed into his own boundaries of thoughts, imagination and Indian ethos.
Dam Moraes is much similar to A.K. Ramanujan when he reopens the book of his memories related with his mother when he says:

“These relics of my mother, which
Came brown paper, caused me griefs
The rich brecades the ornaments
Napthalena balls dead photographs
And a white bra, lapsed in the cups
Since she last slipped it off to sleep.”( NBIPE, 123)
‘Letter to my Mother’ which is in the section New Poems revealsMoraes as a mature poet who has renounced the childhood of fairies, angles and demons and tries to enquire the pathos of mother and through her the country of his origin and finally reach at a mood of humbleness:

“You pray, you do not notice
The corpses around you
Sorrow has stopped your eye
Your dream is desolate
It calls me everyday
But I cannot enter it
You know I will not return
Forgive me my trespasses.”( SCIEV, 80)
Most of the Indian English poets have tried to draw a sketch of contemporary Indian society which is characterized by economic, physical, cultural and personal laughable and pitiable and man and woman both are dehumanizedor insensitive to the pains and throes of their beings. Contemporary Indian English delineate a transparent picture of Indian women like we may glance the poem of Pronab Babdhopadhyaya who depicts the degradation of woman when he says:

“Ila ray must run
Another hundred or two
Selling off
Her evening ardour youth.”( CIEP, 136)
And at another place he writes:

“On the dark silken chest
Of the woman night
The dead mother
Sucking the sleeping child
The bare naked rails
The hardened python
Of a weary civilization
The pavements as seasons of the year
Shift mood. Colour, stance.” (139)
In the poem ‘Indian Woman’, Shiv K. Kumar Describes the Indian women who while making a queue near a well for water wait for their men’s return who have gone ‘beyond the hills’. Here he wishes to draw the image of rural and tribal India come alive in the poem:

“In this triple baked continent
Women don’t etch angry eyebrows
On mud walls
Patiently they sit
Like empty pictures
On the mouth of the village well
With Zodiac doodling on the sands
They guard their tattooed thighs
Waiting for their men’s return.”( IVE,53)
There are scores of poets who describes the physical beauty of women in their poems. For them women is considered be merely a commodity to be exploited and where all scribbling of these poets are to meander to and fro alike pendulum of confusion like Keshav Malik when feels sad at the loss of beauty of woman, says:

“Lady I see how time dates your beauty
Your Sylph like figure wrapped each revolving year
With layer on layer of rich fat,
Till to my recognition you are all but lost-”( MIEP,105)
Some poets like Syed Ameeruddin and Tabish Khair mingle their feelings of love when they draw the picture of woman infuse the element of nature in it also. Tabish Khair says:
“Into the winter of my maidenhood
You came as the spring
With the promise of budding flowers
And past a summer of warm womanhood
You left me as the autumn
With the empty rustle of manhood.”( COIEP, 79)
Similarly Syed Ameeruddin appears to be celebrating in the feeling of love and longing when he is in the communion of woman or her beloved:
“Let us celebrate
The night of White shadows
Shed by liquid moon
Sunk in the debris of rivers
Come beloved!” (COIEP, 20)

But unlike many of his presceder-poets O. P. Bhatnagar takes woman not for sex or baby food. Though in his mocking tone he tries to tell us:

“That sex is not a baby food
To stick to only one brand
Least it may cause indigestion
To one’s delicate system in growth.”
Rather he makes us to see sex in a refreshing manner when he says:

“Sex should come as challenge
Not as shame or consolation
Or something to shy from
It’s a pleasure on which body grows
And soul feeds like honey
Made rich by the extracts of different flowers;
Serving ideas with a different hue
Causing wide stomach upsets
Agreeable but only to a few.” (COIEP, 55)
Bhatnagar seems nowhere apologizing of permissiveness in sex rather he appears to be criticizing the conventional morality which is imposed on woman only which is a clear affirmation of Bhatnagar’s faith in human values as that which is biologically and socially advantageous to the species. There are several Indian English poets who respect and honour the dignity of woman for they believe ‘Yatra naryastu poojyante; ramante tatra devta’(where woman are worshipped; God resides there) Dr. C.L. Khatri, editor cyber literature respects the woman as woman who asks the mythical Draupadi, the classical heroin of the Mahabharata to come down from heaven to redeem the dignity of her sisters:

“Come down from heaven Draupadi
Regain your dignity, awake the Pandavas
Re-enact your historical swear
Redeem the dignity of your sister.” (44)
In the contemporary Indo English poetry the suppresses voice of woman is not only uttered forcefully by these poets but also they have tried their best to uproot those fanatic, chauvinistic and traditional bound superstitious and myth ridden ancient approach from our minds. As Indian woman for long has been under the grinding wheel, enchained, muffled and voiceless and made to surrender to the whims, fancies and eccentricities of ‘savage’ man, his over lordship and to treat woman as a chattel. The life of woman remains a saga from birth to death, beret with agencies, pains, depravation and untold sufferings and though much has been done by Indian English male-poets to ameliorate the plight of Indian woman from time to time by their constant efforts of voicing the predicament of woman and their crucial needs as well as arising as a host of questions and demand to be discussed in public it is yet to gain ground in our male dominated society. Here it is important to know that a poet is free from cliques of poetic form, metre and rhythm as well as the literariness and morality, yet he has to keep up the tradition of poetry and remain fully conscious to the societies’ lackadaisical approach and apathy towards the one set of society whose whole history has been a sorrowful tale of prostitution, beggary, rape, slavery, child labour and discrimination. If we glance at the whole spectrum of Indian English poetry, we will find that the issues and her present situation has been portrayed more forcefully by the Indian English poets who are male and who are also considered to be belonging to the category of man called synonymous with the adjectives of ‘Savage’, ‘Brute’ or ‘Seducers’ of woman.

· A.N. Diwedi (Ed), (Studies in Contemporary Indo English Verse- A Collection on Male Poets, (abbreviated as SCIEV in the text), Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 1989.
· O.P. Bhatnagar, ‘Love:Male and Female Responses’, Love and Death in Indian Poetry in English. Ed. S.N.A. Rizvi, Delhi: Doaba House, 1989.
· Syed Ameruddin (Ed.), Indian Verse in English, (abbreviated as IVE in the text), Madras: Poet Press, (1977).
· B.K. Das, ‘Nissim Ezekeil and the Making of Indian English Idiom’, Critical Essays on Poetry, (abbreviated as CEP. in the text), New Delhi: Doaba House.
· Prakash Joshi ‘Attitudal Dichotomy in Nissim Ezekeil Poetry’, Literary Horizons, Amravati:January, 1987,
· A.K. Ramanujan, The Strides, London: Oxford University Press, (abbreviated as T.S. in the text) 1966.
· A.K. Ramanujan, Relations, London: Oxford University Press, (abbreviated as Rel. in the text) 1971.
· G.K. Kottor (Ed.), A New Book of Indian Poems in English, (abbreviated as NBIPE in the text), Kolkata: Writers’ Workshop, 2000.
· B.K. Das (Ed.), Contemporary Indo English Poetry (abbreviated as CIEP in the text), Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 1986.
· B.K. Das (Ed.), Modern Indo English Poetry (abbreviated as MIEP in the text), Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 1982.
· I.H. Rizvi (Ed.), Contemporary Indo English Poetry (abbreviated as COIEP in the text).Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 1988.
· I.H. Rizvi (Ed.), Contemporary Indo English Love Poetry. Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 1990.
· C.L. Khatri,Kargil. Patna: Cyber Publicaton House, 2000.
· O.P. Bhatnagar, Angles of Retreat. (Abbreviated as AR in the text), New Delhi: Samkaleen Prakashan, 1979.

O P Bhatnagar: A Poet of Political Awakening
Dr.Shaleen Kumar Singh

O P Bhatnagar is one of the most leading voices of Indian English poetry whose collections Thought Poems (1976), Feeling Fossils (1977), Angels of Retreat (undated), The Audible Landscape, Oneric Visions, Shadows in Floodlight (1984) and Cooling Flames of Darkness (2001) bespeak of political consciousness of the poet. As it is clear cut fact that Indian English poetry can never stay away from the socio-political atmosphere of India and poets who do not write under a single formula but rather start a dialogue between ‘man and man’ so Bhatnagar too deals with a number of issues of our society and politics. Dr. A.N. Dwivedi comments:
“Bhatnagar’s poetry comprehends a great variety of themes which directly focus on the long ness of his experience and the solemnity of his involvement in the affairs of life.” (CIE217)

Bhatnagar’s tackling of political theme is more firm and larger than any other Indian English poet for he has touched almost all the aspects of political scenario. Dr.V.K.Singh observes:
“We find in Bhatnagar a frank analysis of the facts of contemporary life. Bhatnagar descants upon myriad aspects of political life as existing currently. No salient feature escapes his keenly discerning eye. Bhatnagar rips open the bosom of several political riddles. He mirrors before us what is what of all political problems.” (152)

Themes like election, bribery, corruption, criminalization of politics, rampant bribery among the leaders degrading character of national leaders, division of society by communalism, castism, linguism, and regionalism etc and the utter loss of values in politics are touched by the poet in a remarkably sensitive and superbly sarcastic way which is still not being surpassed by any poet of Indian English Poetry. His assertion that ‘Indian Poetry in English has to be Indian’ cannot be overlooked if we aspire to promote Indian Literature. Merely copying and coping with the English and English Literature is insufficient because Indian sensibility is not suffering with the penury of thoughts, emotions and sensibility and because it has its foundation vitality and voice of potentiality. Dr. R.C. Sharma is right when he says:
“The reason why Bhatnagar advocates making Indian Poetry in English is beset with conflicts and concerns; and these conflicts and concerns are basically Indian. Bhatnagar is conscious of the milieu in which the Indian poet in English lives as well as of the duty which the Indian poet in English has to perform.”(79)

O.P.Bhatnagar has dealt with a number of themes like social consciousness, political awareness, love, nature, philosophy and Indianness. According to Dr. A. N. Dwivedi:
Bhatnagar’s poetry comprehends a great variety of themes, which directly focus on the largeness of his experienceand the solemnityof his involvement in the affairs of his life. (CIE,217)

In this way Bhatnagar understands the tempo and temperature of his times and accordingly orchestrates his poetry. Bhatnagar’s dealing with the theme of politics is myriad and real. The various social problems that agitate the conscience of man are the subjects of his poetry and he tries to throw a good deal of light on all of them. S.C.Bose observes:
“The poetry of O.P.Bhatnagar which has indeed many dimensions is also significant as poetry of political consciousness.” (V. V., 29)

The frank analysis of the fact of contemporary life, and the picturesque delineation make his poetry vibrant and appealing. According to Bhatnagar:
“Most of the vital areas of the life today are governed by the quality of political life and atmosphere are creating and living. Politics today has replaced our religious mode of life. We are fast becoming concerned with a kind of nationalism that may define our role and responsibilities in the making of the destiny of our Nation in future.” (RC, ‘Introduction’, 8)

According to Bhatnagar:
Indian poetry in English should primarily concern to social and political life of the people of India and it, ‘must democratize its concerns and relations to society and make it a source of shared expectations…it must throw light on the degeneration and corruption corroding identities. It must speak of the total lose of moral values, the gloom and the frustrations pervading the National scene.” (RC, ‘Introduction’9)

Poetry for Bhatnagar is a constant search and effort to symbolize for a better socio-political life .to him, it is ‘a self conscious craft shaped and reshaped by constant practice-refined and retouched by way of the vision. Like life itself, it is the work of a gardener who after removing all weeds cultivates it to final growth and flowering. As such there is no influence of any particular school of thought on his poetry. It is entirely his own- a personal experiment inspired by surroundings, ages, times and above all by human predicament.
The first collection of Bhatnagar Thought Poems (1976) has good deal of poems of political consciousness. The poems rich in thought content lack in emotion like that of romantic poets but the first poem of the collection finds out the process of poetic creation. Bhatnagar writes:
“Poetry’s meaning
Like a deity in enshrined
Words upon words, the edifice build.” (T.P, 5)

Bhatnagar throws ample light on the question concerning God who cannot be resolved out in going round the temple by the worshipper. God is a meaning and deity enshrined in words of poem, the artist alone can expound and seek Him out:
“We may go round and round the temple
Yet never be around God.
We may go round and rand an idea
Yet never be around a thought.” (ibid. 5)

In one of his poems, he predicts the future as gloomy as the present:
“The future looks faded
Like the blossoms of cacti after dawn
The saints from bars, brothels and night clubs
Tasting of casinos and underworld
Turn morals, values and virtues to ice-cream
Licked by fun loving childness in cones.” (T.P, 10)

In the poem ‘The new Scale’ Bhatnagar tries to strike balance between one man’s meat is another man’s poison. The poet finds the dictum worn out in the modern context ‘a simple and honest man measures life in value spoons as he finds dishonesty to be the meanest way of life’. The stark reality of life can be seen as:
“A simple, honest man
In a worn out mode
May still himself find
Measuring life in value spoons
Bribery, corruption and forgery
For him, a bitter poison be.” (T.P., 12)

Bhatnagar wishes to opine that the one’s who amass wealth are the little concern with the interest with their fellow beings, nor do they feel any immorality in acting quite contrary to the code of conduct. In another poem ‘A Woe of Wonder’, Bhatnagar expresses our sentiments and helpless attitude. The poet regrets the diversity, disintegration that our country possesses today. The emphasis of the poet is nothing but Nationality, one sentiment and one attitude. This idea is penned by the poet as:
“Our is a multiheaded country
Looking in no particular direction
Trimurti is an all inclusive vision
From here to eternity risen
Telling the tale of our frivolity.” (T.P., 14)

Similarly in the poem ‘The Bonds of Country Care’ the poet comments on the loyalty and patriotism of those Indians who have been amassing vanity, wealth and arrogance by their services to the countries to which they have immigrated. These so called loyal citizens and tireless patriots visit India for their own cause:
“Loyal citizens proud of patriots
Never forget the care of their country
And fly back home from time to time
Either to choose a bride like a prince
Or buy of ones country a jewel of a land
Placing their kingdom in a safety of bands
Sealed with the loyal assurance with a wink
That although they don’t belong to this country
It sure belongs to their empire.” (T. P., 15)

The second collection Feeling Fossils has also some poems of political interest. Bhatnagar despite treating the politics in an indirect manner hardly fails to pin point very uncommon phenomena that somehow remain hidden from the eye of even those who have specialized in the game of politics. ‘Crossing The Bar’ is realistic poem that lashes on the modern politicians. His comment on the modern politicians is worth quoting:
“Morals as dense
As thick forests
Let no light in;
The game is weird
Hunting loyalties
For romance.” (F.F, 16)

Another notable poem ‘The No Man’s Land’ expresses the idea that freedom has brought no racial change in the life of the people who are still living the dark dungeon of poverty, illiteracy and justice. The movement of liberation was raised by the masses but only few privileged men came forward to control. And when the efforts and sacrifices of the masses resulted success those privileged few captured thrown of the country and continued ruling over the nation under the garb of democracy. So the poet feels right:
“Before the British came
The land was not ours:
After they left,
It was not ours too
The land belongs
To those who rule;
The others merely inherit
The no man’s land.” (F.F., 19)

The third collection Angles of Retreat has several thought provoking poems in which the poet explores the meaning of time as is evaluated from the events emerging from the cave of materialism wedded to hypocrisy. The tone of the poet in this collection is satiric and ironical. In the poem ‘History is A Sorry go round’ the poet wishes to propound that the historians often ignore the importance of the people at large and they tend to magnify the deeds of a few privileged men. The political sycophants have no other way of reaching the pages of History. The historians think that their labor in recording titles and tortures serve the cause of National unity and security and they are helped by political sycophants:
“Political sycophants are their aides
On whose beguiling predictions
They fire eat and perform
The Japanese fire-walk shows
To dazzle the already dazed.” (A.R, 40)

However political leaders and sycophants forget that the tyrants and blood suckers have to face a fall:
“Too much suppression and much politicking
Ferments its own defeat
Forcing the masses to forge
In the smithy of their conscience
The invisible weapons of their conscience
The invisible weapons of their fall
Crowning shame on the foreheads of tyrants
And nailing bitter truths
On the crossroads times.” (A.R.41)

‘Beggars can Be Choosers’ is a remarkable poem in which the poet extends his sympathy for the poor, homeless deceased and propounds that begging is not an evil as those that are harbored by shallow careerists, dare devil smugglers and cheating blackmarketeers. The beggars are away from the ailment of tension, alienation and loss of identity and the poet concludes:
“All my humanitarian approach
Seemed a snarl to me
And my reformist fervor a celluloid zeal
Little realizing that beggars also can be choosers
And little less apprehending
The way we can misread one another
To keep our irrational forms going
That in endless deceit
End the shapes of our destiny.” (A.R, 43)

Similarly, in another poem ‘Thoughts on A Election Day’ is another poem of political consciousness in which the poet ridicules and paints a very vivid and realistic picture of ignorant voters and literate officials as follows:
“The ignorant voters in their routine
Queue up day-dreaming
And in a passion of a second
Get rid of their oscitant indecision
Stamping symbols for men.
With a handful of literates
Sealing illiterate favours in steel boxes
And recording the proud percentage of poll
A quite reigns over the polling booths
Like mourners retired from their obsequies.” (A.R., 46)

The hope for new political miracles after such democratic phenomena in every five year is finely portrayed by the poet who wishes to say that Democracy is nothing but the ugly face oppression and injustice.
The fourth collection of verse Oneric Visions indirectly muses over the themes of politics wherein several fragments related to political consciousness are scattered in the volume. For example in the poem ‘If One Starts Asking Questions like Hamlet’ the poet gives a reference to politics:
“The fanatic erect marbles statues
Of their transient heroes
On the evanescent route of times-
Some whispering revolution
Others proclaiming peace-
Leaving the common man
To elbow sun with sun-shades.” (O.V. 25)

In ‘Who is Afraid of Fear’ the poet’s idea about the magnitude of evils that tell about the nature of politics is expressed by the poet:
“Up rise the ghost of smugglers
Hoarders, hooligans and holy-idlers
In a saucy denial of their treason
And evoke the deformed apparitions
Of the men who wished to rule
Or the man who just couldn’t be men
And like a Shikhandi shielded
The shadow of sin
Branding sun complain of gout
Bent with an aging dream
Wiping morals like beauty
Scrapped by actors with cold cream.” (O.V., 35)

The Gandhian concept of non-violence is very well expressed in the poem ‘Non-Niolence and Violence’. Like Gandhi, Bhatnagar feels that even non-violence has its limits:
“If one strikes you once
I invite him to do it again:
If one takes off your shirt
Offer him to remove whatever remains.” (O.V., 35)

But it is not practically non-violence but a dearth of wisdom rather the poet suggests:
“With ideals folded like umbrella
One may keep them for a rainy day
And indulge in violence for fun
But the wrinkled dialectic of violence
Is a bit too monotonous
Putting the ikebana of horror
Unrelieved and unpossessed
Of any sense of humour
Worth the while.” (O.V., 43)

The collection Shadows in Floodlight has several poems of depth and observation in which the poet becomes philosophical as well as analytical. In the poem ‘Of Poverty, Revolutions and Dreams’ the poet upholds rightly:
We cannot value poetry than its contents
Like vice more than its purity
And frustrations behave a wfore:
For poetry in itself is a revolution
Undreamt of in dreamt undreams.” (S.F., 17)

But in another poem ‘The Living Scene’ the poet presents the picture of modern India saying:
“The living scene in my country
Is worth only for the granite eyes
Insensitive and resilient
For our visions to unfold.” (SF,20)

And he adds:
“it’s a scene where utopia and epic
Are merging into a palpable chaos
Adventure overrunning freedom
Gangsterism whipping justice,
Politics keeping dignity captive
Inaction to avoid thought.” (ibid)

The sixth collection The Audible Landscape has ample poems related to political consciousness in which the poet vocalizes and reflects the present scenario of the Nation and its people. For example, the first poem reflects the slavish mentality of the people who are ready to suffer without making a sigh. The Nation has become coward and the malady is beyond all treatment. The poet says:
“The self enslaving slaves are ruled
By glad ghosts.” (AL, 9)

And he adds:
“When slavery is loved as a rhetoric to survive
Rendering both Cervants and Dostoyevsky futile
Conceits of cowards need no therapist
Nor freedom a Marx or a Gandhi to revive.”(p.9)
He mirrors our predicament saying:
“A prisoner is more free than those
Who have no freedom even to dream.” (ibid)

Almost the identical tone is continued in the next poem ‘The Walls of Prison house Remain’. Bhatnagar writes:
“We’ve broken the chains of slavery
The walls of prisonhouse remain.” (AL, 10)

The following extract from the poem mirrors the plight of the Indians:
“Our despair is not because
There is less revolution
But little change.”(ibid)
“Even now we look for leaders to follow
God to send us his grace:
We’re afraid of speaking the truth
And resisting whatever is unjust
Foul and corrupt in our bones.”(ibid)
What a fun it has that we have taken phrases for reality forgetting all resistance and protest. Bhatnagar says:
“Long caged in slavery
We’ve become like circus lions
Incapable of freedom in emotions
Became our own prisonwalls.” (.A.L. p.11)

The third poem in the volume ‘Can Facts Be Destroyed By Ideas, highlights the reality which cannot be destroyed by ideas the so called cat politics cannot play the game of hide and seek for a long time. The poet writes:
“Yesterday they were the dreams of tomorrow
Today they are the memories of past-
Villages to replace heaven:
The unsheltered resting in villas:
Morals to be as firm as mountains:
With he hungry feeding at the Taj-
All this is history now of politics
That enrich country with poverty such long.” (AL, 12)

The poet concludes saying:
“Even poets are now weary of dreams
Readt like Caligula to depart
Let struggle revive to make up for the loss
In art turn material hostile to art.”(ibid)

In this collection there are number of poems like ‘Still Questions’, ‘The New Morality’, ‘The Second Coming’, ‘On Seeing Rashtrapati Bhavan’, ‘Displacement More Spacious’, ‘That Space’ and ‘The Second Conversion’ in which the poet points out the foils and foibles of our character and presents the snapshot of the suffering humanity and reveling a naked of modern life Bhatnagar tries to reform the present scenario and motivates us to fight against injustice and humiliation.
The last collection Cooling Flames of Darkness (2001) has also a number of poems of political interest in which the poem ‘The Janus Faced Politician’ is remarkable. The poet starts saying:
“Who says it takes yellow sweat and suffering
To become a leader these fruitful days!
It’s now faience with all imperfections
To charm the innocent unequals
With more charming handicaps
Way laying day-dreams by faldage
With deceptive drawings of fain hopes.( CFD, 17)

The farcical face of Indian politics and the imposters called politicians are sketched by the poet so well. Bhatnagar urges us:
“So, watch a hardcore bandit
A seasoned-green kidnapper
A smart murderer: a high-fi smuggler
A high moving scamster
Talk glib on television
Or dictate his undercover turns
To the twice beleaguered people
Voting him to power with little choice
Democracy forcing its way to a farce. (CFD, 18)

The poem ‘Ravaged Children of The Civilized Times’ shows almost all the outer conflicts in the world where the people of the modern times are more indulged in cancerous violence, sins and crimes rather being ‘in the line of the best selling fiction:/ media blow-up on sight on internet’. Politicians are like Cassius and Shakuni who are fixing distant designs of personal power-park and are ‘perambulating their nebulous dreams.’ According to him, politicians will never let the world change in its earlier glory. He says:

“We’re ravaged of civilized times-
Our limping spirits have their own vexed truth:
Philosophers, physiologists or politicians aside
All fires end- find their glory in ashes:
And waters emptying themselves out
Through all the mountain gashes. And
Howsoever much innocence may stand the test
By fire and water:
Violence will never lost its radiance
The woes of innocence their cold surrender.
May be the return to the tenderness of heart
Lies through bestiality, faxed all over the world
The text in its authenticity unchanged.” (CFD,14)

Likewise, in ‘The Primitives of The Age’, the poet imagines the more ghasty mishappenings and the overgrowth of the ghost of dirty politics:

“Come one, come all
Come hyenas or wolves
The inlaid roots will naturally force
Their trampled power to fresh shoots
And survive the grizzly undergrowth
In a new grace of their old salons
Tesing the civilized in their
Much biting teeth.” (CFD,16)

In ‘Looking At My Solitude’ the poet tries to unburden himself from the agonies of time but finds solace nowhere and says:
“For the agony of it
Philosophy, music or poetry
May only half-persuade the fine taste
To savour the taste of solitude
In good taste and trust:
For, the bitter at best can turn
Only less bitten not sweeter still.” (CFD, 36)

Thus, from the above narration it is revealed that Bhatnagar’s poetry is free from all the movements of Rightist or Leftist nor it has any relation with any particular school of thought or ideology rather to a depiction of reality crystal-clearly and narration of truth in pictorial and vividly. The Religion of Bhatnagar’s poetry is love and peace. His poetic creed is essentially human and kind. He seems to be a true advocate of simplicity when he says:

“Poetry at its best is a clear and a simplified version of the complex and the confused for there is nothing more transcidental beyond the creative simplicity of poetry. Poetry wins not by its snobbishness but by its simplicity. Simple poetry is the poetry of togetherness. If more Indian people are to read poetry in English then it must get common and accessible and related to the living human concerns of the times than mere to words, animals, damsels and sex.” (FD, 122)

Therefore, we can say that Bhatnagar has treated the politics as metaphor in his poetry and his poetry has established itself as the clarion call of awakening in the present milieu of political darkness.

· A.N. Dwevedi (ed.), Contemporary Indo English Verse. Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot.1998.
· V. K. Singh. ‘Silhouttes from Political & Economic Life’ The Poetry of O. P. Bhatnagar- A Critical Evaluation. Under the supervision of Dr. T. K. Ramchandran, Submitted to Rohilkhand University, Bareilly,1992
· R.C. Sharma & Dolly Oswal, ‘O. P. Bhatnagar’s Treatment of Politics’, Agra University Journal of Research., pt. 1, Jan.1982
· S. C. Bose, Vision & Voice. Vol.2, Ed. G. P. Baghmar, Nagpur; Vishwa Bharti Publications. (Abbreviated as V. V.)
· O. P. Bhatnagar(ed,) Rising Columns-Some Indian Poets in English.Amravati; Kala Prakashan.
· ------------------------------Thought Poems.Aligarh: Skylark Publications. 1976,(Abbreviated as TP in the text)
· ------------------------------Feeling Fossils .New Delhi: Samkaleen Prakashan., (Abbreviated as FF in the text)
· ----------------------------Angles of Retreat .New Delhi: Samkaleen Prakashan., (Abbreviated as AR in the text)
· ----------------------------Oneric Visions. Jaipur: Rachna Prakashan., (Abbreviated as OV in the text)
· ------------------------------Shadows in Floodlights. Aligarh: Skylark Publications.(Abbreviated as SF in the text)
· ------------------------------Audible Landscape. Aligarh: Skylark Publications.(Abbreviated as AL in the text)
· ----------------------------Cooling Flames of Darkness. New Delhi: Samkaleen Prakashan.,2001 (Abbreviated as CFD in the text)
· ----------------------------Future Directions- Indian Poetry in English Jaipur: Rachna Prakashan, (Abbreviated as FD in the text)

Swami Vivekananda- As the Pioneer of Saints Poetry
Shaleen Kumar Singh

The tradition of Saint Poetry commences from the hoary ages of the Vedas, the Upnishads and the great epics- the Ramayana and the Mahabharata which were composed by the Rishis embodying the rich spiritual heritage of India. Their inspiring words, suffused with radiant wisdom, have been influencing Indian Literature through the ages. The composers of the Vedas and the Upnishadas, Ved Vyas and Valmiki were the founders of Saints Poetry.
The glorious tradition of mystical and spiritual saint poetry exercised predominant influence on Indian Literature. Indian Saint Poetry is spiritual, devotional and mystical. In commensurate with the spiritual and mystical genius of India, Swami Vivekananda and Swami Ramtirtha, the two illustrious saints, who were well versed with the use of English, composed beautiful poems. (ASIEP 45)

Indian Literature, unlike other literature of the world has been fortunate enough to possess the magnificent bliss and blessings of the saints and their poetry that have enriched the tradition of saint poetry. Indian Literature in English is also blessed by poets cum saints like Swami Vivekanand 1863-1902, Swami Ramtirtha 1873-1906, Sri Aurobindo 15th Aug. 1872 and Paramhansa Yogananda 1893-1952. Prof. Satish Kumar considered Swami Vivekananda and Swami Ramtirtha as the founder of 19th century saint poetry in Indian English Literature
Swami Vivekananda is a pioneer of spiritual poetry and tradition of saint-poetry that commences from the hoary ages of the Vedas, the Upnishadas and the great epics- the Ramayana, the Mahabharata which were composed by Rishis, the rich spiritual heritage of India. Their inspiring words suffused with radiant wisdom have been influencing Indian literature through the ages. The composers of the Vedas and the Upnishadas- Ved Vyasa and Valmiki were founders of saint-poetry.
Indian literature in English is also no less rich in possessing the wealth of spirituality which has been enriched more and more by the Saint poets. As they are Indian first then poet, their poems are replete with the themes of spirituality and mysticism. Prof Satish Kumar observes:
Vivekananda is the pioneer of saint-poetry which is characterized by spirituality and mysticism. As a poet he belongs to the category of Indian poets- Kabir, Sur, Tulsidas, Meera, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Tukaram, Nanaka etc.

Contrary to this K.R.S.Iyenger believes Vivekananda is communicator more than a prophet poet:
We cannot list Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Ranade, Vivekananda and Aurobindo, Tilak and Gokhle, Tagore and Gandhi in the calendar of our prophets and poets, and yet cultivate a blind antipathy towards the language they used as a forceful medium of communicating their longing and message

to India and the world. These stalwarts were among the makers of modern India and what they said and wrote must therefore be cherished as our national literature. (IWE, 15)
Despite all such discussions, one cannot underestimate or over look the importance and saint-poetry. In the developments and modern English literature which not only flourished itself in the communion of these saint poets but also surged and dived deep into ocean of imagination, Philosophy and poetic sensibility and Swami Vivekananda was the true precursor of such poetry who torch bore the path and saint poets by way of composing poems originally in English and by his translation from Sanskrit and Bengali. This poetry may be classified into two groups-
(1) Original English compositions
(2) Translation from Sanskrit and Bengali.

(1) Original English compositions-‘My play is done’, ‘The Benediction’, ‘The Cup’, ‘An Interesting Correspondence’, ‘Light’, ‘Thou Blessed Dream’, ‘The Living God’, ‘To my own Soul,’ ‘To Sri Krishna’, ‘No one to Blame’, ‘Song of Sanyasin’, ‘To the Awakened India’, ‘Kali-The Mother’, ‘Peace’,
(2) Translations-‘On the Sea’s Bosom’, ‘The Hymn of Creation’, Six Sanskrit Modos’, ‘Dance of Shiva’, ‘Nirvana Shatak or Six Stanzas of Nirvana’, ‘A Hymn to Divine Mother’, ‘A Hymn to Samadhi’, ‘To a Friend’, ‘Song I sing thee’ and ‘Hymn to divinity Sri Ramakrishna’.
The songs and lyrics of Swami Vivekananda are rich in Vedantic philosophy of India which is as old as the Vedas. It was Vivekananda who alone appeared on the global platform with the placard of Hinduism in his hand and enthralled the whole world. What the world had needed was firm faith that had no fear of truth. It was found in the words, poems and writings of Swami Vivekananda alone. As he was a great mystic, yogi and saint who heralded the birth of renaissance in India took us back to the fundamental values of our Hindu culture and appealed to find the truth in the Upnishadas and the Bhagwad Gita. His poems are soaked in doctrines of Hinduism in India and deep Advaita Vedanta, the practical and dynamic vision of philosophy which was capable of conquering the whole world. His poems, songs and hymns are infused with quality of mysticism, spiritual yearnings, and artistic expressions, and prayers, longings to peace, love, meditation, yoga, Brahma, Shiva, Goddess Kali and liberation of the soul. His emphasis and love from human to the divine can be marked out as:
Love-Love chest wife-Anusuia, Sita- / Not as hard dry duty but as ever pleasing / Love-Sita worship / Madness of love-God intoxicated man / The allegory of Radha-misunderstood / The restriction more increase / Lust is the death of love / Self is the death of love. (TCWSV 5, 426)
About love he himself says-
Love may not be symbolized by a triangle. (The first angle is) Love questions not. If is not beggar…Beggar’s love is no love at all. First sign of love is, when love asks nothing, (when it) gives everything. This is spiritual worship, worship through love. Whether God is merciful is no longer questioned. He is God, He is my love, All other attributes vanish except that one-infinite love

In his famous poem ‘LOVING GOD’ he assumes the form of mystic and says:
He who is in you and outside you / Who works through all hands / Who walks on all feet / Whose body are all ye, / Him worship, and break all other idols. (TCWSV 6, 70)

His poems exhort his countrymen to redeem this from lethargy and inactivity and motivate the man to adhere to the path of Nishkam Karma (desireless action) so that she/he may attain Nirvana:
Awake, arise and dream no more! / This is the land of dreams, where karma / Weaves unthreaded garlands with our thoughts / Of flowers sweet or noxious, and none / Has root or stem, being born in naught, which / The softest breath of Truth drives back to / Primal nothingness, Be bold, and face / The Truth! Be one with it! Let vision cease, / Or, if you cannot, dream but truer dreams, / Which are eternal Love and Service free. (TCWSV 8, 389)

It is none but ‘Kali’ the mother who can confer the eternal peace and love and unshackle. It is none but ‘merciful’ mother who can unshackle the desire ridden soul and take the soul ‘to those shores where strifes forever cease’. One can mark out Swami ji’s urge to the mother Kali to rescue from bonds of desires, delusion and Maya. He prays:
Save me from this fire! / Rescue me, merciful Mother, from floating with desire! / Turn not to me Thy awful face, / ’tis more than I can bear / Be merciful and kind to me, / O chide my faults forbear.


Let never more delusive dreams / Veil off Thy face from me / My play is done, O Mother / Break my chains and make me free. (TCWSV 6, 177)

He again urges the Lord to guide and bless the life of man so that man may feel himself bathed in the divine light:
More on, O Lord, in thy resistless path! /Till thy high noon o’erspreads the world / Till every land reflects thy light, / Till men and women, with uplifted head, / Behold their shackles broken, and
Know,/ In springing joy, their life renewed!’ (TCWSV 5, 440)

‘To a Friend’ is a poem rendered from Bengali poem composed by Swami Vivekananda in which he puts up a series questions to his friend:
Where darkness is interpreted as light, / Where misery passes for happiness, / Where disease is pretended to be health, / Where the new-born’s cry but shows tis alive; / Dost thou, O wise, expect happiness here? (TCWSV 5, 494)

To him life is ‘a glaring mixture of heaven and hell’ and nobody can ‘fly from this Sansar of Maya fastened in the neck with Karma’s fetters’. It is only a cup of Tantalus’ but in this selfish world after a futility of long Tapasya’s weight, he could not find anything in life. Eventually he says:
Listen, friend, I will speak my heart to thee;/ I have found in my life this truth supreme- / Buffeted by waves, in this whirls of life, / There’s one ferry that takes across the sea. / Formulas of worship, control of breath, / Science, philosophy, systems varied, / Relinquishment, possession, and the like, / All these are but delusions of the mind- / Love, Love- that’s the one thing, the sole treasure (TCWSV 5, 494)

The theme of spirituality remains present in almost all his poems where the traits of mysticism and deep meditation can be easily glanced and his mysticism is perhaps the finest one of its own kin. Dr. Anupama Bansal observes:
In Indian English poetry Swami Vivekananda, was the first poet to compose mystical poems, His songs, poems and hymns are the artistic expression of his unfathomed spiritual urge

The poem ‘The Hymn of Creation’ is translation of Naradiya-Sukta, Rigveda X.129 projects his love towards mysticism when he writes:
This projection whence arose, / Whether held or whether not, / He the ruler in the supreme sky, of this / He, O Sharman! Knows, or knows not / He perchance. (TCWSV 6, 179)

Some other poems like ‘A Hymn to Shri Kamakrishna’, ‘Nirvan Shatkam’ or ‘Six Stanzas of Nirvana’ (translation of the poem of Shankeracharya) and ‘On the Sea’s Bosom, (his translated poem from Bengali) are the evidence of his excellent translation work which also establish him as a refined translator. Swami Vivekananda is an advocate of self-realization like Swami Paramhans Yogananda. According to him, Meditation is the only remedy to dissolve the mist of Maya. It is none but God who is behind the ever changing phenomena of the world which is nothing but a figment of creation only. God is the supreme reality in the world of unreality. This idea is revealed in his poem ‘Misunderstood’:
This world’s a dream / Though true it seem. / And only truth is he the living! / The real me is none but He / And never never mother changing! (ISGOP, 4)

As Swami Vivekananda was deeply influenced with the Gita and the Vedas that are the replicas of mysticism and spiritualism, his poems are marked with the quality of mysticism. He believes in one God that is omnipresent, omnipotent, eternal, all pervading and beyond all the limits of human mind. The wheel of Maya does not let us realize the presence of God who can be felt in each whit of universe. Prof. Satish Kumar says:
All poems of Vivekananda are imbued with mysticism of a very high order. In this respect they reveal the influence of the Gita. It eloquently elucidates the doctrine that God is eternal and all pervading and as long as we are so swayed by Maya we fail to realize the presence of the supreme within us. When true knowledge dawns on man he sheds false ego, all delusions, all material attachments and possesses great peace, joy and equipoise. He sees the Supreme, the on indivisible in all the fleeting manifestations of life, in all animate and inanimate objects. (ASIEP 28-29)
His poems are the revelation of the divine wisdom of Gita which propounds there yogas of Bhakti, Gyana, and Karma and his emphasis on the Karma Yoga impart joy, absolute bliss and absolute peace to the avid readers and even drench them in the Rasa of Bhakti. After a rigorous penance and Tapasya attained that celestial and eternal light which made him one with God:
In rapture all my soul was hushed, / Entranced, enthralled in bliss. / A flash illumined all my soul; / The heart of my heart opened wide, / O joy, O bliss, what do I find! / My love, My love, you are here, / And you are here, my love, my all! / And I was searching thee! / From all eternity you were there / Enthroned in majesty. (ISGOP, 3-4)

A believer in the Gita considers soul as immortal and body as mortal and this admittance of soul as invisible, immortal and impenetrable, makes him love his own self, see the same self in all other objects. His poem ‘To My Own Soul’ reflects his observation about his own self:
Reflector true-Thy pulse so timed to mine, / Thou perfect note of thoughts, however fine- / Shall we now part, Recorder, say? / In thee is friendship, faith, / For thou didst warn when evil thoughts were brewing- / And though, alas, thy warning thrown away / Went on the same as ever-good and true. (TCWSV 8, 170)

The vision of Swami Vivekananda was spiritual in toto whatever he touched. It was with spirituality. He wrote in a letter to Miss Macleod on 26 Dec, 1900 giving the fittest reply to Shelley’s ‘To a Skylark’ which says:
We look before and after / And pine for what is not / Our sincerest laughter / With same pain is fraught.

And he wrote in a reply to the above:
Look behind and after / And find that all is right, / In my deepest sorrow / There is a soul of light. (TCWSV 8, 168)

The poems of Vivekananda are rich in pictorial quality. Especially his description of nature is marvelous for it is also mingled with divine ecstasy, intensity of feelings and spontaneity. A powerful undercurrent of mysticism and spiritualism flows through all his poems i.e.
Before the sun, the moon, the earth, / Before the stars or comets free, / Before e’en time has had its birth, / I was, I am, and I will be. / The beauteous earth, the glorious sun, / The calm sweet moon, the spongled sky, / Causation’s laws do make them run; / They live in bonds, in bonds they die. (TCWSV 8, 163)

Nature is the projection of God’s grace and there is a mystic kinship of man with nature. In the lap of nature man finds the eternal peace and joy which are rare and intractable in the life of man. The manifestation of divinity can be realized in the nature also.
The moon’s soft light, the stars so bright, / The glorious orb of day, / He shines in them; His beauty-might- / Reflected light are they. / The majestic morn, the melting eve, / The boundless billowy sea, / In nature’s beauty, dongs of birds / I see through them it is He. (ISGOP, 9)
The poems of Vivekananda are rich in lyrical quality as the ancient epics of Hinduism were perfect in the subtleties of style and diction and carry the qualities of spontaneity, lucidity, symbols, images, metaphors and similes which enhance the poetic beauty of his poems. Imagery of light water, fire and other elements are frequently used in his poems. His lyrics are musically perfect:
All these be yours, and many more / No ancient soul could dream before- / Be thou to India’s future son / The mistress, servant, friend in one. (TCWSV 6, 178)

The symbols and imagery of Swami Vivekananda are indianized like light which is the symbol of illuminous; and sleep as lethargy and idleness. Light is also symbolized as hope and redemption from darkness. Water is used as fleeting and even changing material existence, God as the blessed dream or the soul of souls; time as all destroyer; Kali the mother as terror, breathing death and dream and darkness are the symbols of ignorance and diligence.
To sum up, it is indisputably clear that the poetry of Swami Vivekananda is full of simplicity, genuineness, blissfulness, picturesqueness, harmony, music and sublimity as well as it abounds in the noble teachings of the Vedas, the Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharat, the Upanishadas and the Puranas. His in-depth study of Eastern and Western philosophy and command over language and literature which not only establish him in the Chicago conference as the global platform but also established him in the field of Indo-Anglian literature where he is considered as the precursor of saint poetry of modern era. As he was a soul puissance, illumination, inspiration and divinity, his place among Indo-Anglian poets is on the highest rank. Here it is relevant to end the paper with the remark of Professor Satish Kumar; “As a pioneer of saint poetry his place is really the highest in the entire gamut of Indian English poetry. Vivekananda anticipated Swami Ramatirtha, Sri Aurobindo and Paramhansa Yogananda, the renowned Indian saints’ poets of the twentieth century”.


Satish Kumar, ‘Saints Poets’ A Survey of Indian English Poetry. (Abbreviated as ASIEP in the text) Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2000.
K.R.S. Iyenger,’Introduction to Eglish’, Indian Writing in English. New Delhi: Sterling Pub. 1984.
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. Vol. 1 to 8 (Abbreviated as TCWSV in the text) Calcutta: Advaita Ashram, 1997
In Search of Gods & Other Poems(Abbreviated as ISGOP in the text). Calcutta: Advaita Ashram, 1981.

Dr.Shaleen Kumar Singh
M.A. (English), M. Litt.
Sahitya Ratn, LL.B., PhD
Lecturer in English
Sai Neeharika, Patiyali Sarai
Budaun (U.P.), India,Pin:- 243601
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