A Note from PWF

The Life of a Poem

How long does a poem live? The life of poem published in a newspaper is twenty four hours. If published in a periodical, it lasts for a month, and if it is included in an anthology, it lasts for a year at the most. Very few poems live beyond the boundaries of newspapers, periodicals and anthologies. Each poet, however, desires a long life for his poems. The life is determined, on the other hand, by the readers. The growth in the readership is the growth of a poem’s life. To make sure that a poem lives long, the poet must make it acceptable to the readers. The acceptability of informed readers counts. Such readers have the sense of discrimination. They can discriminate the really good poem the merely entertaining or the one which is just fashionable.

The magazines and newspapers play a vital role in taking a poem to the readers. Social media also helps. The poetry reading sessions can also lengthen the life of a poem. A poet’s duty to a poem does not end with its publication. The poet must take it to the readers through different media. The readers are a flowing river in which a poem swims like a fish. A poem cannot survive without readers like a fish without water. The good poem lives in reader’s memory.

Two major poets passed away recently. One was an Indian poet in English, Jayanta Mahapatra. He combined in his poems the rich cultural heritage of Odisha with that of the cultural heritage and the intellectual history of India. Rabindra Sarkar was a poet of the people who was influenced by the revolutionary thinking of the Naxalites of the seventies of the last century. We express our regards to these two poets from PWF.

In this issue of PWF, Prof. Bijay K Danta, in an article titled ‘A Requiem for Jayanta Mahapatra (1928-2023)’, has paid a tribute to Jayanta Mahapatra, discussing the poet’s life and the works. In another article on Jayanta Mahapatra, Dr Dikshita Bhuyan has made a critical assessment of the poet. In Assamese section, Ripunjay Gogoi has also paid tribute to Rabindra Sarkar, discussing the poet’s life and works.

Dr. Mridul Bordoloi, Professor and Head, the Dept. of English, Dibrugarh University, has written an article critiquing Harekrishna Deka’s poem ‘Rousseauor Saponat’ and it discusses the history of eco-criticism and eco-wokeism in a wide perspective. In another article, Subhajit Bhadra, a young critic, discusses latest trends and tendencies in contemporary Assamese poetry. As in the previous issues, a few new poets have been introduced to our esteemed readers in this issue also. In Assamese section, Professor Sanjeev Kumar Nath has translated Eliot’s ‘Journey of the Magi’ and says some very important things about translation that we all should read.

We hope that the readers will like this issue.