Wednesday, November 26, 2014

ERIC CHAT COMMENTS ON 'Here She Goes: A Collection of Micropoems' by Ram Krishna Singh

Poet friend Eric Chat comments on my selection of micropoems recently uploaded on  http://www.scribd.com/doc/246124871/HERE-SHE-GOES-A-COLLECTION-OF-MICROPOEMS

He writes in an email dated 27 November 2014:

"Ramkrishna -

I struggled to read your collection.  It's very sad, I suppose you know.  

I have often found myself with nothing I could think of, of any use, to communicate with anyone--& I try to restrain myself, then.  I want to write what I want to read, which is something that somehow enables.  I don't want to share misery, or emptiness.  

Sometimes, misery is completely undeserved.  Then, maybe, it's possible to locate, analyze, & illuminate its cause--that's useful.  Sometimes misery is a biproduct of having taken too good care to protect oneself from what courage would expose oneself to.  Of course, there's no point in exposing oneself to danger & suffering, unless for some good purpose, which is often difficult to figure out.  Then, there's nothing wrong with taking care of oneself--but, then, often there is nothing much to share, in terms of communication.  Then, if one has committed oneself, prior to the experience of one's life, to "being a writer," one feels the need to communicate, but can only share shallow sorrows.  I don't know what that's called in India.  Here, non-academics sometimes call it academic poetry.  I try to avoid it.

But I know that you are trying to use words to escape the very aridity I'm talking about.

I have sometimes found that writing quite a bit that seems to me empty--& keeping it to myself--sometimes, eventually, leads to something else, some surprising growth.  But then it's necessary to throw away what was just exercising, that allowed one to reach what's truly valuable--or so it has always seemed to me.  Even more so, I've learned to write very little when I don't know what to say that's of use, tho it frequently feels then that I'm wasting my life, not doing anything, & my life will end before I do anything.  Then it's necessary to do something other than "being a writer," which, it seems to me, is an immature idea anyway.  One is a being, a human being, in a variety of relationships, in the physical universe, a spirit & a body, a mortal, a citizen, in your case a teacher, an eater, sleeper, shitter, pisser, dreamer, analyzer--all sorts of things, & only a bit "a writer."

Then, occasionally, one knows something to write, that, if others wrote it, one would be glad to read it.  As I say, it is, in some way, enabling--helping to get past the very shallowness & aridity I've been talking about.

Again, shallowness & aridity are often not a bit one's own fault, but, still, one has to find ways to transcend it, then share those ways, if sharing, e.g., via words, is one's nature, no?

I think it's Basho who wrote the haikus in the 19th century, in Japan, in which he describe a pretty unpleasant life, & it's not my favorite work, but it has the merit of being a unique life, well-captured, as tho a series of photographs, not very many, & for a whole life, & a life stunningly different from that which almost anyone leads.  Tu Fu, in China, did something similar with slightly longer poems, describing his life that went wrong.  But it's certainly not shallow or arid.  And, in the USA, the Black blues singers often captured sorrowful states of being, but managed to communicate a kind of defiant strength of endurance & wit, using very few words, but also some melodies, rhythms, & expressiveness of voice that poets don't have the advantage of.

Lao Tzu has a poem, one of only 80-some that he left us (most of which are quite different), in which he describes himself as feeling lost, & feeling that everyone else seems to know what they're doing, but he doesn't.  It's a wonderful poem.  But if he'd said it 3 or 4 times, it would have been just whining.  

Likewise my favorite poet, Walt Whitman, often the most joyous of poets, sometimes communicates sorrow, & it's liberating to realize that someone who didn't just crawl thru life, was sometimes as low as one gets oneself.  But if he'd written so steadily, if he'd given us a steady diet of complaint, I would have no use for him.

I'm wishing you well.

Eric "

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Nominated for Pushcart Prize 2014

http://poetrypacific.blogspot.in/2014/11/poetry-pacific-pushcart-nominations-2014.html



The Poem, BODY, is nominated for the award by Poetry Pacific

BODY

The body is precious
a vehicle for awakening
treat it with care, said Buddha

I love its stillness
beauty and sanctity
here and now

sink into its calm
to hear the whispers in all
its ebbs and flows

erect, penetrate
the edge of life and loss
return to wholeness



http://poetrypacific.blogspot.in/2014/02/2-poems-by-ram-krishna-singh.html



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

HAIKU AWARDED


Sunday, October 26, 2014

HAIKU TRANSLATED INTO RUSSIAN

http://www.wowwi.orc.ru/data/versions_weekly.html

 R K Singh
empty coffee cups
deride the syllables
I spin to make haiku

      Wowwi
хай-ку-снос-кры-ши
пред-ста-вля-ю-что-ча-шеч
ки-ко-фе-сло-ги
      2014-10-19 12:50:05
----------------------------

      R K Singh
slowly rising
from the clouds edges
autumn sun

      Polay
неспешно
золотит края облаков
осеннее солнце
      2014-10-20 12:04:13
----------------------------

      R K Singh
her name
written on the sand:
a wave breaks

      Кю Дзе
от волны
        до волны:
                 МАРИНА
      2014-10-21 00:48:44
----------------------------

      R K Singh
cloning miracles
with the night's discharge
in condoms

      Кю Дзе
клоны- клоны-
клоны- клоны -
вчерашние гондоны

      2014-10-21 09:21:15
----------------------------

      R K Singh
empty coffee cups
deride the syllables
I spin to make haiku

      Кю Дзе
пустые чашки -
слагаю хайку   ))
 с помощью  кофе
      2014-10-21 09:39:00
----------------------------

      R K Singh
dreaming her nude
the serpent rises:
first orgasm

      Кю Дзе
              |
       \             /
          воображаю           >
       её  ( ,).) голой     _☺|)_
            ) .(            \~~~/
-   первый (  ♥ ) оргазм   - ~ 
      ~     \ |/  ~            ~
      2014-10-21 10:40:54
 
 
SOME MORE TRANSLATION ADDED:
 
Encoding is UNICODE UTF-8 

 R K Singh
 
empty coffee cups
deride the syllables
I spin to make haiku 
 
 li_bao
 
пустые чашки
нагадаю хайку
на кофейной гуще
      2014-10-27 07:35:12
----------------------------

      R K Singh
 
a yellow snake sneaks
through the blooming balsam bed
a lone frog puffs up 


      Polay
 
желтая змейка
скользит в цветах бальзамина,
лягушка надувает щеки
 
 2014-10-28 10:11:05 

http://www.wowwi.orc.ru/data/versions_weekly.html
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

HAIKU: RAM KRISHNA SINGH


HAIKU: RAM KRISHNA SINGH


empty hangers
clatter in the wardrobe -
new bridal dress
-
-
the quiet tuning in
to partake of her silence:
roaring ocean
-
-
stands between
the shadow and the soul-
Neruda
-
-
virtual flirting
untamed bushes- straggly
dystopia
-
-
between the lantern
and the smart phone
the pizza- eating girl
-
-
dreaming her nude
the serpent rises:
first orgasm
-
-
too many gods
and so few flowers
Whom to please?
-
-
drowsily rises
after a sleepless night
the sick sun
-
-
on yesterday
drifting back and forth
thought to fri
-
-
morning breeze
the feel of sweet chill-
receding monsoon
-
-
the yellow snake sneaks
through the blooming Balsams bed
the lone frog puffs up
-
-
painting the glow
in the green forest of:
unseen fingers
-
-
Ram Krishna Singh , India

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

MY Contribution to AN ONLINE ILLUSTRATED ANTHOLOGY ON 9/11 AND THE ARTISTIC EXPERIENCE


Extracted from:
An Online Illustrated Anthology: 
9/11 and the Artistic Experience
Edited by Christal Cooper


Twenty-two artists of all genres and from across the globe were asked two questions:  1.  What is your personal experience of 9/11? (and) 2. How did 9/11 influence your art and/or your faith?                      
     Their responses, photos, and examples of their art
work is included in this 46 page blog post.  



RAM KRISHNA SINGH
Professor of English, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences at Indian School of Mines. 
Varanasi, India
On that fateful day, I was at home in Dhanbad, doing my routine teaching and other chores, as usual. It was a normal day like any other day but for a 'flash' about the terrorists' attack in the US on some news channel on TV. It was more serious that it initially appeared. For more information, I switched the channel and spent several hours watching the details, now history, pouring in from various quarters on the CNN and BBC. 



Though we were far away from the World Trade Center that was attacked, the event gave us some very anxious moments. My father called up from Varanasi to express his anxiety about the safety of my sister's son, working in the US. He was also worried about my other sister who had left for Stockholm to attend some conference. 



I was rather more worried, like my father, about the implications of 'high alert' announced by the Government of India for the defense officers. We didn't want our son's leave to be cancelled. He had planned to leave for Dhanbad on Sept 13. 
We could be relieved only after receiving information from each one the next day.



The 9/11 incident made me think: It never pays a country to promote terrorism in any form. As I noted in my diary on Sept 12:
"I won't be surprised of the US now attacks Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestinians, Iraq, Iran, Libya that have been promoting fundamentalism and terrorizing people. The first three countries are most susceptible to the US action....
But it's shocking to see thousands of people simply being killed in America. The way the two towers of the World Trade Center were collapsed is historic in that the US could not prevent hijacking of its airplanes from its cities nor could its intelligence services, Pentagon, satellite surveillance, missiles etc could be effective before the meticulous planning of Osama bin Laden and his terrorist supporters.  The American planes in America were used to turn to rubbles the Pentagon and the WTC and several thousands of people killed in a few minutes?  
It's time every country reconsiders its options and acts swiftly to demolish every terrorist outfit in every nook and corner of the globe.  The Human Rights politics as well as the politics of Terrorism must end, if civilization and humanity is to survive."





As far as the impact of 9/11 on my poetry is concerned, I notice no major change in my practice. I have possibly progressively taken to haiku and tanka, rather than any longer form of poetry writing just as there has been more ironical reflection on politics and religion.
I have been a university professor, teaching English language skills to students of earth and mineral sciences and engineering in a technical university, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, for over three decades. I have also been practicing poetry besides guiding research in English language and literature. 
My poetry reveals my faith. I believe in unity of humankind and equality of sexes.  I recognize the world as one earth, one nation, one country, just as I love and respect all the races, tribes, nationalities, religions and languages. I accept the spiritual oneness of people and my concerns cut across national boundaries. I believe in living without prejudices as man belonging to the whole world, honest to myself. 



The themes of spiritual search, an attempt to understand myself and the world around me, social injustice and disintegration, human suffering, degradation of relationship -- political corruption, fundamentalism, hollowness of urban life and its false values, prejudices, loneliness, sex, love, irony etc, are prominent in my poems. It tears my psyche when I see all around me the ugly dance of religious intolerance and fundamentalism, ethnic, cattiest, and communal violence, rigidity and narrowness of attitude and behavior, degradation of human dignity, political and moral turpitude, and the suicidal urge for self-destruction. I often feel I don't belong to the place or people here. 



Born, brought up and educated in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh, India), I have been interested in Indian English writing, especially poetry, and English for Specific Purposes, especially for science and technology. I have authored more than 160 research articles, 170 book reviews, and 39 books. Many of my poems have been translated into Italian, Greek, German, Spanish, Romanian, Chinese, Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Portuguese, Crimean Tatar, Hindi, Punjabi, Kannad, Tamil, Bangla, Esperanto etc. 



New Indian English Poetry: An Alternative Voice: R.K.Singh(ed. I.K.Sharma, 2004), R.K.Singh's Mind and Art: A Symphony of Expressions (ed: Rajni Singh, 2011),Critical Perspectives on the Poetry of R.K.Singh, D.C.Chambial and I.K.Sharma (ed: K.V. Dominic, 2011), and Anger in Contemporary Indian English Poetry ( Vijay Vishal, 2014) are some of the books that explore my creativity since the 1970s. My bibliography appears in some 35 publications in the UK, USA, India and elsewhere. 


Courtesy:


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

TEXT OF MY SPEECH AT ISL on Teachers Day



Text of the speech of Professor R.K. Singh as Chief Guest  at Indian School of Learning, ISM Annexe, Dhanbad on 5 Sept 2014

Thanks for inviting me and associating me with celebration of Teachers Day in your esteemed school for the second time. First time it was in 2007. I don’t remember what I said seven years ago, but today, as I near my retirement,  I would like to share with you some thoughts about our own professional role as teachers.
I have no experience of teaching in school, but I have not forgotten my years in school. Teachers have great responsibility—to make students creative. None helped me in a way  I could remember one with respect or gratitude. Perhaps, that’s why I am not very fond of worshipping ‘Guru’ even if we may feel flattered by celebrating “Guru Parva”.
But occasion like this should be viewed as time for self-reflection: what are we doing? How? And how can we change ourselves, besides making our students creative?
It hurts me deeply to read reports of physical torture and punishment to students. By beating our kids, we show our own lack of sensitivity. We close the doors of creativity and sow the seeds of negativity and frustration. It turns  young learners hostile, maybe violent, and harms them on a long term basis.

When I recall my days in school, the only inerasable childhood memory I have  is the heavy beating I suffered from my teachers.  Some of them impulsively and impudently caned and punched me. The result: I lost interest in studies, yet survived, and ironically, became a teacher myself. Perhaps because I couldn’t become anything else!  Honestly, I lost respect for teachers, and later even wrote articles and letters to the editor condemning them for their behavior, attitude and activism in the 1960s. But, that is a different story.
What matters is the teachers’ own sense of responsibility in making their students creative, which is  possible only when teachers display personal attributes that will  make them as models to emulate – a cheerful disposition, friendliness, emotional maturity, sincerity, and caring about students as  individuals as well as learners. They need to display affection, sympathy, compassion, love for students, and be attentive to their smaller needs and emotions.
Expression of anger, aggression, or non-academic pastime serve no learning purpose. As teachers we need to communicate and interact with them, facilitating thoughtful discourse, discussion, debate, exchange, and relating to their experiences, stimulating their intellectual and emotional development through meaningful activities and social participation, encouraging tolerance, appreciating differences and promoting mutual understanding.
As teachers we are creating human assets for the future. We are instrumental in shaping their character. We need to experience the human face of education  from early years, so that men and women become more men and women, become satyam, shivam, and sundaram – the true, the good and the beautiful.
We can bring about creative changes by sowing seeds for positive thinking, originality, innovation; by enabling young children’s growth in terms of their natural talent, with values that affect individual, social, and national development. We need to discover and value their innate abilities, qualities, and desire to pursue what suits their natural talent; help them discover what they are most interested in, and find out what they want to do, and then to see if it is worth doing.
We should not treat education as mere commodity, or business enterprise, or means of dividing the society further with denial of its availability. The rural, the poor, the deprived need our attention as much as the well-offs and the urban. We can, in our own limited way, contribute to the very basis of education as the great equalizer in order to move forward towards a just social order  our leaders have been talking about for the last more than six decades.
If we trust them and if we wish to transform the present into better future, we can’t  be short-sighted, mechanical, or routine. We can’t achieve excellence by being superficial, or by ignoring the human capital we are supposed  to nurture at school level.
Teachers, as also the parents, not only need to create conducive learning environment but also to  nurture young children for living richly and fully without conflict so that their life doesn’t become a battle field. It is rather learning to work, to build, to create together, to be able to live life without fear. When there is no fear, there will be freedom, freedom to learn, to inquire, to discover, to find out. That freedom of the mind Tagore talks about in one of his celebrated poems  (“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high/ where knowledge is free/ where the world has not been broken up, into fragments by narrow domestic walls;/ where words come out from the depth of truth;/… into that heaven of freedom/my father, let my country awake.”)
In the exploration is learning. Not in conformity, imitation, memorization, absorption of information, but in learning to live without being brutal, violent, selfish, superstitious, prejudiced, or frightened; in learning to live without suffering insecurity, anxiety,  misery, confusion, or uncertainty, and all that.
Perhaps, we have to educate ourselves to be able to help our little students be free and mature and to flower in love and goodness.
With these few random thoughts, I thank you once again for inviting me to your function and giving me an opportunity to talk to you.
Wish you all the best in your celebration of the Teachers Day.

--Professor R.K. Singh, ISM