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Trying to find out if and why life is becoming more prosaic


There is a sense that the world and hence life is becoming more prosaic, as if poetry isn’t there or has ceased to matter. It might seem un-poetic to even attempt to measure this sense of loss. Besides, statistics would obviously take into account only that which is being read in printed form and not all that is being created and heard, recited and sung.

If poets are born, then are we saying we live in a world where they have ceased to be born? That would almost be an apocalyptic eventuality because for all we know the rhythm of creation has coexisted with the rhythm of verse creation.

If we believe that as long as humankind has the ability and longing to imagine, feel and dream, there will be poems, what then is the lament about?

Is it in the sense of irony that in times where people are perpetually connected, the collective emotional experience of a culture that poetry used to represent is lost? Or is it?

Read also: Is the age of poetry over?

Perhaps, it has only changed form and found new ways of expression and listening. Perhaps, this most creative of art forms thought it only fit to break free of not just content but form as well, as suggested in one of the articles here. Perhaps, adherence to poetic tradition essentially means this persistent urge to create new thoughts in new forms.

In our own context, the lament is more about the artist than art; amid this wealth of poetry, what bothers is this absence of a “great Urdu poet” who has been around in one or the other form, however debated the status may have been. If there is no “barra shair” alive, whose verses people should have memorised mind you, can it be assumed that poetry is dead.

Desperation or hope, ennui or meaning, slam or social media, poetry is there as long as people connect with it or has the ability to change how to think and imagine — as long as it can cast a magical spell.


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