Fire and Hunger in the Works of Das and Mahapatra
Indian English poetry is a genre that has been woefully underappreciated by critics, both Indian and foreign. Yet, this genre of poetry is crucial in understanding how Indian identity and society has evolved over time. From the allegedly imitative romantic poetry of pre-independence poets to the individualistic modern and post-modern poetry of postcolonial poets, the transition in themes and styles are indicative of the zeitgeist of contemporary society. This paper will attempt to understand the construction of Indian identity through the use of recurring themes, symbols and imagery in a selection of post-modern Indian English poetry, with a special emphasis on the effect of intertextuality in employing the same. This will be done through a close reading of the poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra and Kamala Das.
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