|Pic courtesy infibeam|
A Poem for CRY
Favourite poems of famous Indians
Compiled and edited by Avanti Maluste and Sudeep Doshi
Published by Viking: Penguin Group
Foreword by Amartya Sen
Reviewed by sandhya.
Human emotion can be a tricky thing. At once overwhelming and finely nuanced, it is a slippery being. It becomes difficult, sometimes impossible, to express what one wants to say, what one is feeling. Sometimes one does not want to express one’s feelings, but just clarify, validate, what something nebulous that one feels is. Sometmes one is in search of that perfect punch line that is just there…at the tip of one’s tongue, but elusive.
Poetry is the refuge of all such souls. Sometimes a few lines express so well what one has not even admitted to oneself that it makes us wonder – how did the poet know so well? And then one has one’s favourite poet, favourite poems.
Amartya Sen says in his foreword – “If one can find the right poem, quoting someone else can be as much an expression of one’s deeper self as anything one can write oneself. This is a remarkable collection not only for the beauty and reach of the poems themselves, but also for what it tells us about many people who have been active in one walk of life or another, since the selections allow us to have a quick peek into their minds.”
A Poem for Cry is an anthology of favourite poems by what sounds like the Who’s Who of India. Adi Godrej, Rahul Dravid, Gulzar, Sachin Tendulkar, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Indira Hinduja, Anjolie Ela Menon, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Nandan Nilekani, Aparna Sen, Kiran Bedi, Shah Rukh Khan, Amartya Sen, Lata Mangeshkar, Tarun Tahliani, Vikram Seth, Zubin Mehta, Jayant Narlikar, Kiran Majumdar Shaw, Dom Moraes, Rahul Bajaj, Amitabh Bachchan, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Medha Patkar, Mulk Raj Anand, Derek O’Brien, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Justice Y. V. Chandrachud, Fareed Zakaria, Sonia Gandhi, Shyam Benegal, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Azim Premji … You get the picture?
Some of the poems in this anthology?
Daffodils by William Wordsworth. Mulk Raj Anand, Vishwanathan Anand. Karan Johar.
If (If you can keep your head when all about you) by Rudyard Kipling. Lord Bagri. Farzana Contractor. Rahul Dravid. Adi Godrej. Parameshwar Godrej.
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. Manvinder Singh Banga. Harsh Goenka. Uday Kotak. Azim Premji.
Epitaph on a Tyrant by W.H.Auden. Shyam Benegal.
Footprints In The Sand by Mary Stevenson. Dr Indira Hinduja. Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Abraham Lincoln’s letter to his son’s teacher. Shah Rukh Khan.
And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. Malavika Sangghvi.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning. Naseeruddin Shah.
Speak Gently by David Bates. Brinda Somaya.
Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore. Tariq Ansari. Rahul Bajaj. Nana Chudasama. Aamir Khan. Anand Patwardhan. Aruna Roy. Prannoy Roy. Mallika Sarabhai. Viren Shah. Kiran Majumdar Shaw. Kavitha Krishnamurthy Subramaniam.
And many more.
The anthology does not limit itself to poems from English. There are poems in Hindi, Marathi, Urdu, Gujarati, Bangla, Tamil, Sanskrit. I was thrilled to find the Gayatri Mantra recommended by Nandan Nilekani. These poems are printed in the original followed by an English translation.
Quite a few poems were not known to me, as were a few poets. Some intrigued me enough for me to do a search for more poetry by that poet. A learning experience.
This copy was borrowed from a friend. It is certainly a book I’ll want to buy for my own collection. The copyright is held by CRY :Child Rights and You. All profits will go to them.