always follow the Upanishadic thought - word is supreme power (Shabda
Kabir Das also said - Saadho Shabda Sadhana kije - which means
"mediate on word power."
But in the recent poetry workshop organized at Sameeksha, a
young poet read his poem in which he questioned the power of the
word. When words come to a poet, they have some meaning
associated with them, these meanings are sometimes fixed, and
the poet has to depend on those used words again and again. Thus
sometimes words are not able to carry the emotions and feelings
of the poets;sometimes they even give a different meaning to the
The thoughts put forward by the young poet stayed in my mind; it
made me think again about the power of words. If words do not
have the capacity to express the feelings of a poet, then how
can we believe them, and if they can convey only a particular
meaning, then how can we enrich them with new meanings? I think
that is why we need colours and music to express ourselves. But
does it mean that words are not powerful?
No, as a poet, I cannot accept this. What I would say is that
words have power, but one has to meditate on them; win them so
they come to him/her as rain, as wind, as waves in the ocean.
Words cannot be used as a bag, just to fill one's emotions, but
one has to worship them, one has to win them and slowly make
them one's own.
When we win them, they become as vast as the sky, enriched with
different shades of meaning and are able to convey our feelings
to our readers.
Friends, Kritya is entering her sixth year. This journey is
continuing smoothly because of our love for poetry
this issue is Franck Ramo from France
Report of Workshop on Poetry
On 20 June2010, Kritya organized a workshop of poetry at
Sameeksha in Kalady, ( Kerala). Almost 20 young poets
participated in the workshop, and two Malayalam poets- Roshani
Vapana and Aryad Vasudevan took part as experts. Amit kalla, a
Sameeksha is an Ashram run by Father Sebastian Painadath S.J,
who is doing a great job by promoting a dialogue between all the
religions. He believes in the cultural roots of the human race.
The most important thing is the love for nature and life along
with nature. The Ashram is on the banks of the Periyar River,
amidst lush green surroundings. All the buildings are built in
traditional Kerala style. It is wonderful to see the Kerala
architectural tradition preserved in the construction of this
Ashram, when most of Kerala is changing into a concrete jungle.
The meeting was inaugurated informally with a short speech by
Father S Painadath S.J, who is an expert in Upanishad
philosophy. An artist of the Ashram Mr. Ray talked about the
relation between colours and words.
Then the discussion was open for young minds, it was nice to see
that young minds were so rich with ideas. A number of questions
were raised and discussed. Why poetry matters, a question that
itself contained a number of other questions, why a young poet
writes poems in these modern times, where there is such limited
space for poetry. No one can live as a poet these days. Poetry
is becoming a part time or pastime affair. Then for whom should
one write, just for oneself or for the society, and will society
listen to a poet?
The young poets expressed their deep-seated hurt at the attitude
of the senior poets who were not showing them any direction or
giving guidance. They were upset that their seniors were very
self centered and not
working for uplifting poetry.
Till lunch break, we could talk a lot, after lunch, we went to
the banks of the Periyar River and afterwards we sat on the
platform surrounded by nutmeg trees. We read poetry and talked
about poetry. After evening tea, again a question came back to
us, why do we write poetry, this is the time of cricket,
football, films and so many other forms of entertainment.. Where
is the place for poetry, and if we write, what can the society
gain from it?
Time was running out; we had so many unanswered questions. But
we were happy to provide a stage, where young poets could open
A fruitful workshop could be held in a beautiful environment;
that was our satisfaction.