HarperCollins bring out a landmark volume to all poetry lovers and litterateurs, in the hope that it will provide many hours of enjoyment and generate new interest in the rich corpus of contemporary poetry. Here’s what the legendary Gul`zar saab has to say about the anthology.
‘A Poem a Day began as a thought – why not have a poem to read for every day of the year, selected from the wonderful Indian poetry that has been written since 1947? I started with some of my favourite poets, but almost before I knew it, we had poetry by 279 different poets writing in as many as 34 languages. I firmly believe that poetry doesn’t know any borders, so, along with poets from Gujarat, Punjab, Kerala, Goa, Odisha, I included poets writing in Tamil in Sri Lanka, in Bangla in Bangladesh and in Urdu and Punjabi in Pakistan.
The poems appear in English translation, which is a language that, thanks to our history, a majority of Indians are familiar with. But I wished to make the poems my own, and to write them again in my own way in a language and idiom that is truly our own; therefore I transcreated the poems (except the ones that were originally written in Hindi or Urdu) in Hindustani, the language in which I write.
This was a massive project but a very rewarding one too. The poetry of India can be truly known only if one takes into account the poetry of all its languages. A Poem a Day is my tribute to the many languages of India that happen to be local yet form a part of our national identity. It is also a personal selection of the Indian poetry that contributed to my journey of becoming a poet, and the poetry that I have found the most memorable.
I feel we need poetry and the power of words more than ever in the difficult times we are going through; I hope that A Poem a Day will be a companion many of you will want to have by your side as we walk into the future.’ – GULZAR
Watch Gulzar Saab’s message here!