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

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His early years in Mumbai were poor but eventful, especially his life as an upcoming artist, in the Rampart Row neighborhood, where the Artists’ Aid Fund Centre was located. He grew up in a traditional patriarchal Hindu extended family, describing their crowded home as ‘a house of cards…the rooms had mudfloors which had to be plastered with cowdung every week to keep them in good repair’.

He died not long afterwards. Looking for More Great Reads? Kolatkar was born on 1st November and died on 25th September You know how old women are.

Jeet Thayil attributed its popularity in India to ‘the Kolatkarean voice: Inspired by Your Browsing History.

Chaitanya – Poem by Arun Kolatkar

Oxford UP, ; repr. When I reread Jejuri now, I realise how important the modern metropolis before globalisation – with its secret openings and avenues, its pockets of daydreaming, idling, and loitering, its loucheness – is fundamental to Kolatkar as a way of seeing.

Subsequently, the poems were recreated in the s, and were published in a literary quarterly inand the book came out in Arun Kolatkar was born in in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India. However, these are not politicians’ comments but a poet’s, and he avoids kolagkar typical Dalit – Leftist – Feminist rhetoric.


Although some of these poems claim to be ‘English version by poet’, “their Marathi originals were never committed to paper. Jejuri kkolatkar received with unusual enthusiasm by the standards of poetry publishing in Anglophone India but the critical response was unremarkable. I found Kolatkar there on the Thursday afternoon; three or four meetings, another trip to Bombay, kolarkar long-distance telephone calls to a neighbour’s phone he didn’t own one himself followed in my attempt to make him sign the contract.

Arun Kolatkar – Arun Kolatkar Poems – Poem Hunter

And the temples crack. Infive years after Jejuri had been published, Midnight’s Children inaugurated a monumental view of Indian history in literature – in fact, a monumental view of literature itself in India. The remarkable maturity of poetic vision embodied in the Kala Ghoda Poems makes it something of a milestone in Indian poetry in English. After his death, a new edition of the hard to obtain Jejuri was published in the New York Review Books Classics series with an introduction by Amit Chaudhuri And the hills crack.

Bombay in the 60s gave him these languages and also the transition between these worlds, the movement from street to library to cinema hall. Had they done so, our view of Indian writing in English would be a different, a more heterogeneous and unexpected one than it has been in the last 25 years.

American beat poetryespecially of William Carlos Williams [3] [4] had later influences on him. Kolatkar wrote steadily after Jejuri as he had before its publicationin both English and Marathi, but published only very sporadically in journals. He wrote prolifically, in both Marathi and English, publishing in magazines and anthologies frombut did not bring out a book of poems until he was To match this in his English translation, he sometimes adopts “a cowboy variety”: While Jejuri was about the agonized relationship of a modern sensitive individual with the indigenous culture, the Kala Ghoda poems [20] are about the dark underside of Mumbai’s underbelly.


His poetry had an influence on modern Marathi poets. Poem Brut 53 — Collages About Moss. Modern Poetry in Translation. One by one the gods come to light.

Along with friends like Dilip Chitrehe was caught up in the modern shift in Marathi poetry which was pioneered by B. Read it Forward Read it first.

Stance after lost stance is found and lost again. Retrieved 23 August In the larger, unfolding story of the independent nation, writing poetry in English was a minor, marginal, and occasionally controversial activity. It was clear that the poems were constructed with the same jaundiced eye that informs Jejuri – a similar disinterested view of events and juxtapositions, with the mythical elements replaced by the historical.

The poems evoke a series of images to highlight the ambiguities in modern-day life. His poems found humour in many everyday matters.

Some of these characteristics can be seen in Jejuri and Kala Ghoda Poems in English, but his early Marathi poems are far more radical, dark and humorous than his English poems. Martin’s Upcoming Fantasy Novel, ‘Lo! Spare, comic, sorrowful, singing, Jejuri is the work of a writer with a unique and visionary voice. It was only after he was diagnosed with cancer that two volumes were brought out kolakar friends [2] — the English poetry volumes Kala Ghoda Poems and Sarpasatra Sidevent Adkick Day I’m not setting up a crude opposition between the two writers here; Kolatkar admired Rushdie’s novel, as Rushdie does Kolatkar’s work.

It is one of the great treasures of mosern Indian literature.