Poetic Genius of Keki N Daruwalla

Poetic Genius of Keki N Daruwalla | Themes in the poetry of K N Daruwalla

Poetic Genius of Keki N Daruwalla : Indian Poetry in English is very much indebted to Daruwalla. His contributions to Indian Writing in English especially, verse is remarkable. 

Poetic Genius of Keki N Daruwalla

The jurisprudence of Keki N. Daruwalla’s poetry has an immense and scintillating influence on the Indian scenario. His craftsmanship has an impeccable and highly vibrant quality and very much endowed with aesthetic appeal. His themes are varied in nature. His poem ranges from the greatest expression of Indian thought to the clever dwelling on mundane experience coupled with reality. His poetic endeavour is superior and excellent in terms of the quality and the poetic device he employs. As a poetic craftsman Daruwalla occupies the unique position in the matrix of Indian poetical spectrum.

Indian Poetry in English is very much indebted to Daruwalla. His contributions to Indian Writing in English especially, verse is remarkable. He had enriched Indian Poetry in English through his range and craftsmanship. He poems have thrived to bring the under current of Indian life. His corpus of poems has echoed the Indian spirit and its sensibility. His poems are deeply rooted in Indian idiom. His poems are the quintessence of Indian sensibility and Indian life. Violence is the foremost theme of the poetry of Daruwalla. The violence pervades the works of Daruwalla both thematically and technically.

However, it depicts the multi ethnicity of the Indian experience. His poetry presents the cross section of India. Indian poetry sans Daruwalla is unimaginable as his poetry has become an inevitable force in the annuls of Indian writing in English. His poems are devoid of any inferior poetic utterances. His images are so sound and it strikes the head at the right time. His poetic exuberance is matchless. His poetry is of high quality, dandy, sterling and first class.

His poetic acumen is of highest calibre. Among Indian poets writing in English Nissim Ezekiel is comparable to Daruwalla. At times Daruwalla even outwits Nissin Ezekiel. Daruwalla’s technique is sounder than that of Ezekiel. In certain poems Daruwalla comes near the thematic excellence of Nissim Ezekiel. But, in few poems Daruwalla has even surpassed the poetic excellence of Nissim Ezekiel.

Daruwalla’s poetry broadens the imaginative range of the reader with thematic universality with a multiple array of significance. Its import has deeper impact on the psyche of the connoisseurs of poetry. In the words of Sinha , “Daruwalla  projects his understanding of the contemporary Indian reality with its multivalent contradictions”.

Daruwalla’s poetry is subtle and oblique and seems to follow the dictum of  Tillyard, “ All poetry is oblique, there is no direct poetry” (65). His is the poetry of contemplation. Daruwalla’s naturalness goes with thoughtfulness is noted by several critics. Besides naturalism humanism is found in the poetry of Daruwalla. His poems are the reflection of abounding concern for humanism. His humanist attitude surpasses his other poetical qualities.

Daruwalla has been one of the most daring innovators of Indian poetry in English. Never compromising either with the public or indeed with language itself, he has followed his belief that poetry should aim at a representation of the complexities of modern civilization in language and that such representation necessarily leads to difficult poetry. Despite this difficulty his influence on modern poetic diction has been immense.

The influence of Ted Hughes as far as expression is concerned cannot be ignored. Partially his style has the similarities of Hughes’ animal depiction.

Hughes’s work is marked by a mythical framework, using the lyric and dramatic monologue to illustrate intense subject matter. Animals appear frequently throughout his work as deity, metaphor, persona, and icon. Perhaps the most famous of his subjects is “Crow,” an amalgam of god, bird and man, whose existence seems pivotal to the knowledge of good and evil. In the same vein Daruwalla’s poems project the violent reality of human existence. But his works does not have any thing to do with other worldly forces. His works are rooted with human reality though the brute expression of animalistic tendency is present.

Daruwalla’s distinctive technical skills, the special subtlety in his adaptation of a very personal colloquial mode to the demands of tight forms, are not immediately seen to be outstanding; but his strengths as a craftsman have increasingly come to be regarded as one of the hallmarks of his talent. He is an extraordinarily various and accomplished poet, a poet who uses the devices of metre and rhyme for specific effects. His language is never flat, unless he intends it to be so for a particular reason, and his diction is never stereotyped. He is always ready to reach across accepted literary boundaries for a word that will precisely express what he intends.

Daruwalla produced without fanfare the most technically brilliant and resonantly beautiful, profoundly disturbing yet appealing and approachable, body of verse of any Indian English poet in the last twenty-five years or more.

The elegance of his poetic diction, brilliance and dexterity of his craftsmanship coupled with the Indian sensibility has made his poetic presence inevitable in the Indian context.. Though he is a Parsi his poems are more Indian rather than a Parsi.  To transform a minor incident or insignificant event into a poetic expression of higher caliber requires an enormity of craftsmanship and technical excellence. Daruwalla possesses that capacity to a greater extent in combining reason and sentiment without sacrificing the grace. Apart from poetry he also attempted fiction. His career as a poet spanning thirty six years and more has been contributing remarkably for the growth of Indian literature especially poetry.

The themes of his poem include deprivation, misery disease and death. His almost seem to contain Hardian attitude towards life. But in actuality his corpus of poem only presents the stark reality of Indian life. Though he could have been placed at the top level of Indian poetry the critics’ indifferent tendency towards Daruwalla has under stated his poetic excellence. The greatness of Daruwalla’s poetry is very much overshadowed by the critics’ unawareness of his sound poetic quality. However, his poetic genius is acknowledged by the Sahithya Akademi Award. Of late there is a surge in the interest among critics towards Keki N. Daruwalla. His impact on Indian poetry is tremendous.

His poems tends towards a prolixity and prosiness and he is praised for his bitter satiric tone which is exceptional in Indian verse.

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