A few months ago, Kritya published “A Letter from Mad House” written by Peri (fictitious name) in the English section and translated into Hindi by myself. I had also included a poem of mine as a reply to it. and I had also included a poem of mine as reply to it. We received a number of letters from our readers, and one Indian print journal/ paper published both poems in the form of a chapbook. Thus the agony of Peri reached the common people in their own language. Thus, the agony of Peri reached the common people in their own language. The poem became the focus of attention in a number of poetry readings. Some poetry readings were organized just for the reading of this poem. Ajey from Keylong says with a smile—women chose to keep this book in their bag in the place of religious books.

It makes me think - what is the power of that poem? Is it the agony of a single woman? Or the anger / passion towards a loved one? Or a simple sad story? A woman in a mad house is not a new theme; neither are themes based on women in love or women suffering. The battering of women is a common subject in the media. What then, accounts for the power of that poem? I still am at a loss to understand. True, poetry is not to be just understood, but to be experienced or felt as well. And Peri’s words touched every one. This is obviously what our ancestors meant by the power of words.

Peri’s pain is not that of one sole woman. It is related to everyone – each one who has had a hard dealing from his/her own society. Kritya’s reader Ishita says- “I read the whole booklet without a pause. Then I read it again and again and then again, wanting to reach out my hand to hold the suffering; soothe her and tell her how I understand her need for air and sun. (In a gathering, two years back a ‘man’ reacted to my poems. “Why women still talk of sunshine and a square piece of sky, even in the twenty first century?”). I want to tell her of the pain and anger I feel as a woman against all that she had to bear. Every verse brings out the scenes of her sufferings alive. And I question myself how long all this will continue in different societies.

She put a question for me -Both poems( Peri’s and Rati’s) are equally beautiful. These too arouse in us feeling of sharing the pain for someone who will always remain alive in all those women, who love Peri for her madness. Madam Rati’s anger towards the cruel setup of society is well understood through her lines. How can one remain without reacting! (This letter of Ishita is published in our section Letters to the Editor, along with her reaction/poem.)

Now let us come back to another discussion which started with the previous issue. A discussion that was sparked off with Ajey’s (a member of our Hindi editorial board) letter, a letter in which he asked a very relevant question - why certain languages ignored certain types of poetry? And were partial to a particular set of poets? He highlighted the need to peep into the prohibited areas of life, and bring into the limelight ancient/new poets, who have sung the songs of natural, raw life. I feel Ishita and Ajey are talking about the same thing.

Kritya is thankful to all those readers, who showed interest to take part in such discussions, and who we hope, will have a sustained interest in the future as well. I feel that such discussions give us new insights into poetry.

Our previous issue of Italian poetry was liked by most of the readers. Now here we are, ready with another issue.
This month, Kritya presents an important poet of our time Joy Harjo in the Editor’s choice. Joys poems echo the voice of common man. We have a number of contemporary poets in section - Poetry in our time as well. In our Masters section, we have Kashmiri poets - Habibullah Nowshehri and Rwapi Dyad. Mohan Kishor Diwan presents an interesting study of modern American poetry in the section - In the Name of Poetry. The paintings depicted here in this issue are by a well-known young artist from Kerala - India , Suresh K Nair. The sketches in this issue are by Krishna Kumar Ajanabi- India .

Rati Saxena

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The poems, articles and reviews published in Kritya are received by e-mail. The views, themes etc. expressed therein are solely those of the respective writers, and not of the publishers or editors of Kritya. The credentials of the writers are those that they provide via e-mails and most of the writers are not personally known to the publishers and editors.

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