As part of the annual Poetry with Prakriti festival, literature students of Women’s Christian College (WCC) got a chance to listen to some amazing poetry by contemporary Indian poets last month. The session with Anupama Raju and Mustansir Dalvi was a bouquet of literary variety.

Raju added immense colour to the session with her short poems that echoed evocative images of Puducherry, inspired by the photographs of Pascal Bernard. Mustansir Dalvi’s poetry was refreshing — A poet of geography he brought alive the life of Bombay, infusing culture and history with the very physical surface of the city. Students also had the privilege of listening to Arundhathi Subramaniam and Rahul Soni. The former presented a wonderful range of poetry, which was incidentally also about identity.Performance Poetry

The presence of Indian poets Jerry Pinto and Randhir Khare along with Estonian poet Aime Hansen saw a fitting end to the session. Hansen left the audience spellbound with her poetry performance, most of it in monologue-format.

The poems on proposal and creativity were not only interesting, but brought up many essential questions on the nature of genders and the creative thought-process.

Jerry Pinto’s poetry verse brought out the right of poetry to offend and speak the truth. He read out some very rebellious poetry from his collection “Asylum”, and made the students reflect intensely about the freedom of poetry.

Overall, the poetry readings opened up a whole new world, exposing students to the art of poetry, and what better way to familiarise oneself with the art of poetry than to know the artists themselves?

There was resistance poetry, Sindhi poetry, fictional (fantasy) poetry, gay poetry, performance poetry, and so on. There were poems that were translated into English from ancient scripts, and poems that were modern and unconventional. There were many different genres and the poets themselves were present from different parts of the world. These interactive sessions also helped me learn about the various methods of translation. They helped me interact with different people from different corners of the world.

Henna S is a student of Anna Adarsh College for Women. Pooja SR is a student of Women’s Christian College.