`Poetry is an all-encompassing vehicle of expression'

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, MARCH 24. "Time is micro-managed and everyone is impatient. This is a destructive attitude to life," the noted American poet Al Young said. He expressed concern over the changing lifestyles and its impact the world over.

Young was taking part in a poetry reading and interactive session, `How stories and poetry express eternity,' organised by DC Books and the Public Affairs Office of the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai. The session also brought together two like-minded poets, O.N.V. Kurup and Ayyappa Panikkar.

Young, who has taught poetry and the art of fiction writing in various universities, said literature is a means for making the world a better place to live in.

Poetry is a lofty, all-encompassing vehicle of expression that can explain science, record history and even pragmatic information. Even doctoral theses are written in verse in the U.S., he said. Good poetry is not the one found in books. There is a dual communication between the reader and the poet that creates a symbiosis, Young added. He also read his poem titled `Eternity' at the session.

According to Panikkar, Indians nurture a distinctive concept of time while living in a world of timelessness. Infinity and eternity are known by small moments. Time is a vanishing concept in post-modern fiction. Quoting from Young's poem, `Flu', Panikkar said it goes beyond the tangible.

According to Kurup, but for poets, most people are unconcerned about the past or future. Eternity is a sublime concept. Quoting a poem on the earth he had penned in 1961, Kurup said that fleeting moments on earth are the notations of eternity. Two decades later he wrote a requiem to earth.

But for the singing wind, chirping birds and songs of the poets who tread on the earth, there is no eternal music. Though separated by mountains and oceans, like-minded souls think similarly, he said, sharing the views of Young.

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