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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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By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Always hesitant about publishing his work, Kolatkar waited untilwhen he knew he was dying from cancer, before bringing out two further books, Kala Ghoda Poems koltkar Sarpa Satra.

The poem sequence deals posms a visit to Jejuria pilgrimage site for the local Maharashtrian deity Khandoba a local deity, also an incarnation of Shiva. He spent several years trying to make a living before turning to work as an art director and graphic designer for several advertising agencies in Bombay, achieving great success in this poeme.

In Marathi, his poetry is the epitome of the modernist as manifested in the ‘little magazine movement’ in the s and s.

Byhis marriage with Koltakar was in trouble, and Kolatkar developed a drinking problem. Suzi Feay’s Book Bag. Mirjam Tuominen – Short Prose. His poetry had an influence on modern Marathi poets. Stance after lost stance is found and lost again.

Pilgrims’ progress

You know how old women are. My poems 21 Titles list.

Any reader of Midnight’s Childrenand of its tribe of fictional children, should get to know Kolatkar too’ – Boyd Tonkin, Independent. Stay in Touch Sign up.

Trained as an artist from the J. Archived from the original on 26 October That book won kolakar Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in Machismo seemed to have interested him; not only its aura of power, but its qrun humour. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


He died not long afterwards. Bombay in the 60s gave poemss these languages and also the transition between these worlds, the movement from street to library to cinema hall. By mids he was established as a graphic artist, and joined Mass Communication and Marketing, an eclectic group of creatives headed by the legendary advertiser Kersy Katrak.

You can never quite prejudge how he will view the odd, improverished particularities of the topsy-turvy world that he studies with such care and irreverent fondness’ – Michael Glover, The Tablet. To give a quick flavour of the terrific originality of vision, here is a fragment from the longest poem in the book – Breakfast at Kala Ghoda 14where at a charity meal, a huge box of idlis is opened: And the temples crack.

Squandermania and other foibles. Jejuri was received with unusual enthusiasm by the standards of poetry publishing in Anglophone India but the arum response was unremarkable.

Archived from the original on 8 July ;oems at Needlewriters in Lewes in January. It is one of the great treasures of mosern Indian literature. Like JejuriKala Ghoda is also ‘a place poem’ exploring the myth, history, geography, and ethos of the place in a typical Kolatkaresque style. They show a greater social awareness and his satire becomes more direct. Looking for More Great Reads? Posted by Editor Bloodaxe Books at And the hills crack.

When asked by an interviewer who his favorite poets and writers were, he set out a large multilingual list. Any reader of Midnight’s Childrenand of its tribe of fictional children, should get to know Kolatkar too’ – Boyd Tonkin, Independent ‘The best new discovery of the season is… Collected Poems in English by Arun Kolatkar, one of the great poets of post-war India… The poetry is utterly fearless.

In his poems, wry irony underpins the miracle of things seen and touched, people met and sized up These poems he then often translated into an Americanese which, at the time, would have made respectable Americans blush; “maderchod” rendered, for instance, as “motherfucker”. For now, Kolatkar’s influence – no less far-reaching, potentially, than ;oems of Midnight’s Children – hovers on the edges; which is where, as we see in Jejuri, he liked to be.


Writing in both Marathi and English, his poems found humor in many everyday matters.

Arun Kolatkar (Author of Jejuri)

Near his death, he had also requested Arvind Krishna Mehrotra to edit some of his uncollected poems. Bloodaxe Books on Facebook.

However, in his later Marathi poetry, the poetic language is more accessible and less radical compared to earlier works. Its been there for some years now. The proximity between the disreputable, the culpable, and the religious – a living strand in Indian devotional culture, and an everyday reality in places like Banaras and Jejuri – becomes, in the act of translation, an aesthetic.

A verse-film by Damian His early Marathi poetry was radically experimental and displayed the influences of European avant-garde trends like surrealismexpressionism and Beat generation poetry. His Marathi poetry collections include:. Before Jejuri, Kolatkar had also published other poem sequences, including the boatridewhich appeared in his the little magazine, damn you: Arun Kolatkar Collected Poems in English. And the sky falls With a plate-glass clatter Around the shatterproof crone who stands alone And you are reduced to so much small change in her hand.

His Marathi poems of the s and s are written “in the Bombay argot of the migrant working classes and the underworld, part Hindi, part Marathi, which the Hindi film industry would make proper use of only decades later”.

By then Kala Ghoda Poems was making waves and the snippets I saw here and there on the web and in Jeet Thayil’s 60 Indian poets whetted my appetite further. You come out in the sun and light a charminar. For Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, it was ‘among the finest single poems written in India in the last forty years…it surprises by revealing the familiar, the hidden that is always before us’.