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“Poetry can be a catalyst for the city known for its music and dance”

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(From left) Artists Hoshang Merchant, Anu Majumdhar and Alka Pande at the launch of ‘Poetry with Prakriti’ in Chennai on Wednesday.
(From left) Artists Hoshang Merchant, Anu Majumdhar and Alka Pande at the launch of ‘Poetry with Prakriti’ in Chennai on Wednesday.

Staff Reporter

Two-week festival, ‘Poetry with Prakriti,’ begins

CHENNAI: I have to write a poem tonight/

I have to make the Madras literary ladies happy tomorrow/

Day after, I’ll be forgotten/

I’ll be laughing in the grass/

Children’s feet will tangle me/

Dogs will piss on me …

Thus opened Hoshang Merchant’s reading of poems, starting with a poem on the city and then moving on to Shillong, Guwahati, Kashmir and rickshaw wallahs of Hyderabad.

Prakriti Foundation’s two-week festival ‘Poetry with Prakriti’ opened here on Wednesday with readings by Hoshang Merchant, Anu Majumdhar and Alka Pande.

The annual festival is held to coincide with the December Music Season and brings “eminent and emerging poets, featuring readings to small and intimate audiences.” Opening the festival, the artists stressed that poetry needs to be brought back through such events. “Poetry can be a catalyst for the city which is already known for its music and dance,” said Anu Majumdhar.

Art historian, curator and author Alka Pande said poetry is like investing in a knowledge laboratory, where it sensitises and touches people. She said that today everybody is racing for achievement, and moments of pleasure are getting precious. “Poetry is lingering of moment, time and enjoyment. It is important that all of us take time out to linger,” she said. She described her anthology of poems from ‘Leela’ as a celebration of sensuality, shringar and the sheer joy of living. Udaipur-based artist Waswo X. Waswo’s photographs from ‘A Studio in Rajasthan’ added colour to the evening.

Ranvir Shah of Prakriti Foundation announced the Poetry Slam competition where anyone who has a poem lurking in them, could send in their works. The next two weeks will see readings at different venues in the city including colleges, cafeteria, IT parks and select shops. Details of the programmes are available on www.poetrywithprakriti.in

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