Friday, June 18, 2010


By: R.K. Singh

pp.: 188, Price: Rs. 98.00
ISBN 978-81-7977-377-2

List of Contents:

Academic Communication : Some Characteristics
An Approach to Style
Interactional Process Approach to Academic Writing
Research and Writing
General Format and Referencing
Writing Abstracts
On Using Punctuation
Summing up

For details, visit:


Book Review: Dr S.M. Mehdi

Mechanics of Research Writing by R.K.Singh. Published by Prakash Book Depot, Bara Bazar, Bareilly-243003. 2010. Price: Rs. 98/-, pages 182. ISBN 9788179773772

As we all know that University Grants Commission is emphasising on and encouraging through different means quality research in higher education and learning centres of the country. Measurements have been taken and schemes are being launched for making research useful and relevant, minimising the chances of plagiarism and making efforts to bring the cut / copy-paste era to an end. There are books in the market written by renowned scholars but sorry to say that most of them deal with the subject (Research Writing) rather vaguely, making it more complex. And as a result, when the scholar go through them, he become more perplexed rather than developing a clear view of the subject.

The author, who himself is a renowned Indian English poet and has a marathon career of over four decades of teaching and research writing and supervising, has written the book deriving from his personal teaching experience and interaction with researchers in various disciplines. The book is meant for the postgraduate and doctoral level students involved in research writings. The structure of the book is such that it is helpful not alone during the writing process, but before and after also.

First chapter of the book deals with the characteristics of academic communication, or should I say the characteristics which are necessary for effective presentation of the research text. Communication through writing can be made by educated persons only, and this fact alone is enough to understand the importance of written communication, more so, when we are talking about research writing. Dr Singh points out:

‘…you need a different kind of awareness to be able to write with objectivity, accuracy, and restraint in a rhetorically suitable format, expected in academic or research writing.’ (pg. 2)


‘The way you write to organise information or knowledge on a subject reflects the nature of your research and professional etiquette.’ (pg. 3)

The author has beautifully explained the structure of a paragraph. As the paragraph is a unit of the whole work, if it is written according to the suggestions made, then the whole work will be fruitful. Dr Singh opines: ‘Good paragraphing is a prerequisite for a well developed, coherent piece of discourse.’ (pg. 6)

The author has recognized three types of competences, namely - subject, organisational and linguistic. Dr Singh maintains: ‘….the pressure for research and the lack of linguistic and organisational skills conspire to produce only poor quality documents.’ (pg. iv, Preface to the First Edition)

Second chapter of the book is all about the style and the suggestions extended by the author are such that when you go through them, a feeling comes that there is some teacher beside us who is instructing. The hints given are of foremost importance, mixing psychology with the writing technique.

There are three stages of academic writing process– pre writing, writing and post writing (chapter three). All of these stages are explained with great zeal by the author with the help of brilliant examples about manuscript preparation. Beside these, the names of some of the research journals useful for research writing are also recommended.

In chapter four, onus is laid on planning for quality work. Types of research are given a hint of and an idea is given about thesis writing. Plagiarism is elucidated with very good examples. In my view, more pages could have been attributed to this median chapter by elaborating types of research more clearly.

Referencing, abbreviation and bibliography are very well defined in chapter five and several examples are there for better clarity and understanding for learners. The MLA, APA and MHRA styles of referencing and citation are given with numerous examples. It is very good from the point of view of a research writer that he can find all the three important styles at one place, in one chapter. How to use non-book materials and referencing electronic sources are also there in the same chapter. 105 important abbreviations and reference words (including 31 Latin abbreviations and reference words) mostly used in research writing are given by the author. Initialisms and acronyms are explained with examples. 2 examples of bibliography writing and 9 examples on writing research papers are also there.

Abstract writing is clarified in chapter six. Abstract of research article and that of a conference paper are dealt with separately and the procedure of writing abstract is presented graphically.

Chapter seven explains about different punctuation marks. The use of commas, semicolons, colons, exclamation, dash, italics, period (full stop), question mark and ellipsis is explained by the author. It is a fact that punctuations can change the meaning of the sentence and suitable punctuation marks make the language more impressive and clear. In the words of Dr Singh:

‘.....(punctuation) helps the readers get not only the exact shade of meaning
But also the tone and feeling you want to communicate.’ (pg. 165)

This book is not just a book but seems like a guide as from phrasing sentences, punctuation marks and paragraph formation, it instructs us how to prepare bibliography and write abstract, which abbreviation has to be used where as well as styles of citation (referencing). At last, I would recommend that anyone who is involved or going to involve in research writing should have a copy of the book.

--Dr. S. M. Mehdi
c/o Dr. I. H. Rizvi
'Rizvi Manzil',
97, Kanghi Tola,
Bareilly 243003, UP


Thursday, June 10, 2010


Now the covers of my book, SENSE AND SILENCE: COLLECTED POEMS,( ISBN 978-81-910588-2-6), have been finalised and printed. The book is available from:

Yking Books
18 Jain Bhavan
Opp. NBC, Shanti Nagar
Jaipur 302006

It is a library edition priced at Rs. 995/-, but it is available to Indian readers, students, researchers, and teachers at 40% discount and free postage. Others may like to contact the publisher for special discount by email:



Sense and Silence

Collected Poems : 1974-2009

R.K. Singh

Yking Books
Jaipur India

First Published : 2010
ISBN : 978-81-910588-2-6
© Author
Price : Rs. 995
Published by
Yking Books
18, Jain Bhawan, Opp. N.B.C., Shanti Nagar, Jaipur - 302006
Tel. 0141-2221456 (O), 09414056846 (M)
Laser Typesetting by
Vikram Kumar Sharma, Jaipur
Printed at
Ruchika Printers, Jaipur


For the most wonderful source of my creativity and strengh, my wife Durga, daughter Winny, and son Vikram.


“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”


Prefatory Note

Sense and Silence: Collected Poems: 1974-2009 brings together for the first time all my published collections of poems, including several new ones and/or not yet published old ones. The inclusive dates, 1974-2009, correspond to the dates of composition or first publication of the earliest and latest poems (even if a few poems might have been composed in their revised or pre-revised form as early as 1971). In effect, the poems in this collection, though not chronologically arranged, cover a span of over thirty-five years, reshuffling the past and providing a composite view of my creativity.

Apparently without a pattern, artificially arranged, and untitled, each poem is an experience independent of the rest, and complete in itself, though continuous in spirit. Short or shorter snapshots of daily life, at times unusual but not without depth, each poem reveals the growth of my mind and style. It should also be possible to read each of the sections, viz., My Silence, Music Must Sound, Memories Unmemoried, Flight of Phoenix, I Do Not Question, The Face in All Seasons, and Sexless Solitude as a long poem, though the reader is free to re-create the material according to his/her own taste and sensibility.

Some poems, including haiku and tanka, have been dropped or shifted from one section to another to avoid repetition of their appearance. In the experimental haiku and tanka sequences, however, a couple of haiku and tanka poem might have reappeared.
I continue to believe in giving no titles to my poems (titles tell too much, as Lyle Glazier once observed), and, in fact, I am yet to compose a poem with a title integral to it, even if in some of my earlier publications, especially Memories Unmemoried, ‘I Do Not Question’ in Two Poets, ‘Some Recent Poems’ in My Silence and Other Selected Poems, and Sexless Solitude and Other Poems, I did suspend some poems by their titles like pictures on the wall. I have now preferred to restore my original design and identify all the poems in each section by numbers. This should not, however, interfere with the readers’ freedom of imagination.

Finally, I am indebted to Shri S.K. Jain for reposing his faith in me and readily agreeing to publish my Collected Poems to benefit researchers and interested students of contemporary Indian English Poetry both at home and abroad.

--R.K. Singh
31 December 2009


Prefatory Note ix

1. My Silence 1
2. Music Must Sound 25
3. Memories Unmemoried 52
4. Flight of Phoenix 64
5. I Do Not Question 82
6. Above The Earth’s Green 101
7. The Face in All Seasons 131
8. Sexless Solitude 152
9. The River Returns: Tanka 198
10. Every Stone Drop Pebble 227
11. Peddling Dream: Haiku 234
12. The River Returns: Haiku 256
13. Some More Haiku 290
14. Some Haiku Sequences 305
15. Some Tanka Sequences 320
Acknowledgements 329

Published Prefatory Notes/Forewords/
Front-Notes/Some Comments 334

"My friend, your book is incredible, a work of incredible breath, voice, and creativity coupled with depth and infused with your culture. I am awed.


--Robert D. Wilson


Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Response to Chitra Lele's request

Dear Chitra,

It's really a tough job you want me to do. I need to think about it seriously and deeply. I don't know your context except that globalisation in English language teaching is more functional and utilitarian than creative (as in the sense of poetry or story writing). When I started writing in Hindi (in my teens) I didn't have any competence in English. I was a Hindi medium student and there was no environment to learn good English whether at home or in the college. Soon I discovered that I won't be able to make any impact through my journalistic, poetic or fiction writing in Hindi-- there was so much politics and competition,and no mentor to promote me even if I used to appear in almost every daily and weekly published from Varanasi in those days-- I dabbled in writing in English. As a student in BA I thought my English was good and I could write poetry in English. I was wrong. My literature teachers, too, discouraged me from wasting my energy in writing in English. But, the more they found fault with my writing, the more determined I became to write and publish in English. With continued failures in the seventies, I did succeed, after i became lecturer in English and gradually learnt how to find my rhythm and edit my poetry and/or write what most others won't dare to.
Poetry came to me naturally when thinking in English had become normal and i had to teach English language rather than literature. I learnt to write with no or minimum adjectives; I learnt to be brief and without being wasteful; I learnt to write with a sense of rhythm. It was good that I did not read T S Eliot or the Romantics or the Victorians after becoming a teacher, nor did I need to teach any authors I studied in BA or MA. I taught 'English for Science and Technology" and professionally concentrated on 'specific purposes' language teaching rather than teaching even modern or contemporary literature.
Because my forgetting is faster than remembering, so I always had something new to write or think about.
I didn't have the support of any of the big names in Indian English writing, so I kept on doing what I have been doing all these years just as promoting the less known/unknown poets became my passion. (No Ezekiel, Mahapatra or Ramanujan supported me any time.) I am happy today more new authors are being talked about than it was thirty years ago. Even for research (here at ISM) I promote new or less known authors and poets and leave the old or established ones for others to deal with.
With the emergence of the internet and several international print journals becoming electronic journals, I have been regularly posting my poems etc on various literary sites and it is gratifying that my writing in English is now more accessible globally. I wont die an unknown name and one or the other search engine will mention one or the other of my books or poems in English (as also in other languages).
You are free to use whatever seems relevant to you.
All the best
R K Singh

--- On Mon, 5/31/10, Chitra Lele wrote:

From: Chitra Lele
Subject: Important: Singh Sir, please respond
To: "singh ramkrishna"
Date: Monday, May 31, 2010, 11:48 AM

Dear Singh Sir,
Greetings! How are you?

ONE EARNEST REQUEST: Sir, for my next non-fiction book on the importance of English in today's world of globalization, I need you to write one paragraph on how the English language and your proficiency in it has helped you in your life..10-15 lines will be great. I am going to include your quote in one of my chapters - Real life quotes. Please help, your kind blessings are always needed. May be you could write about how English helped you in promoting poetry.
Please mention your stellar credentials at the end of the quote.

Awaiting your valuable reply.

Kind regards,

Chitra Lele

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

EXPLORING THE SENSES: From: MAJESTIC, The Official Newsletter of Litdotorg

R.K.Singh, An Indian English Poet Explores The Senses Creatively…
Sunday, May 30, 2010
By Sandra Yuen MacKay

(Editor’s Note: We welcome R.K. Singh as our guest blogger of the month. Here he shares his views and philosophy about his poetry.)

At times it is refreshing to reflect on one’s own creativity and answer questions like what motivates you to write, what type of writing you have been doing, what has helped your writing, and how satisfied you feel with all that you have achieved so far.

Let me begin by sketching a typical day in my life. A deadly monotony of existence in the maze of routine is what characterizes a typical day in my life: while mentally it is a journey from loneliness to frustration to depression; physically it crisscrosses the routine of living in the same house; working in the same place; meeting the same people; teaching batch after batch the same unwilling-to-learn students; the same time of getting up, eating and sleeping; the same worries and complaints; the same diseases; the same unfulfilled desires; the same uninspiring atmosphere; the same prayers; the same narrowing dimensions and captivation; the same insecurity and marginalization; and the same search for freedom; the same sense perception probing sex, city or people; and yet, I’m unable to know myself or forget the growing depression.

Living life in a boring environment, it is a challenge to sustain poetic creativity. Yet I have survived the inner and outer sterility. It has been great fun to use some small, negligible aspect of one’s behavior, or some insignificant event, or something read or heard in the past that stays unconsciously in the memory and gets connected some other time while something incites me into a poem, or I get my own thoughts as I read somebody else’s poem, or I recollect some complex dream experiences into the garb of a poem. I see to it that the emotion thus expressed makes sense to me as an ordinary reader, and is not mere claptrap in the form of a poem. I also check there is some sort of rhythm or pattern in the expression and no waste of words. Since the poetic mood is short-lived, my poems are almost always short, and there is hardly a poem composed with a title integral to it. I prefer not to give titles to my poems.

What is my poetry about? Much depends on the insight into how one responds to my poetry or how delightful to the senses or challenging to the mind one finds it, or how one wants to interpret my creative perception of meaning in the world. There are many themes, individual passion, historic-mythical awareness, human relationship, social consciousness. I am my own veil and revelation; I am both the subject and the object and reveal others as much as I reveal myself.

I utilize the world in which I live in order to create an authentic voice, which begets empathy and brings the reader in close contact with the poem. In addition, it demonstrates my choice of the subject matter I am exploring. In the subjective process of creation, it is normal for a poet to create out of himself whatever outside he sees excites the inner vision. If he feels sex as truth and, as Sri Aurobindo says, renders the experience with beauty or power, there is nothing objectionable.

The fact is my social vision intersects the private and sexual. There is some sense in a poet’s frenetic eroticism or sexuality—love of the self through exploration of the body, or naked physicality, leading to love of the divine, or man and woman as one.

I believe the effect of poetry lies in the thrill, the almost physical emotion that comes with its reading. The appeal of erotic poetry lies in the activation of the sense, mind and the emotions that appear in some way interpretative of life, or subject experiences that have depth. It is perhaps in the area of sex—a fact of life—that one must search for the most secret and profound truths about the individual or his/her social consciousness. The problem is not sex/sexuality but social attitude, morality, hypocrisy, the socio-sexual standards that determine moral or civilized norms, which discriminate, enchain, and debase honest aspiration as lust or vulgarity.

To me, sex is a metaphor: the encounter man and woman, woman and woman, man and man to express relationships, concerns, roles, to react against false ethical and cultural values, against stereotypes and prejudices, against hypocrisy. (But beware of gimmicks, imitations, romantic overtures, and even plain silliness that I have often noticed in a number of Indian English poets). It is through the inner mindscape that the outer awareness is interpreted.

Further, I think expression of passionate love and sex in my poetry is the internalized substitute, nay antidote, to the fast dehumanizing existence without, and ever in conflict with my search for life, search for meaning in a boring existence.

“Woman” in my poetry is a universal woman, the invisible part of the primordial pairs we know as Purush-Prakriti, or Yin-Yang, unchanging over time and culture: “The best poetry/ is a woman/concrete, personal, delightful/ greater than all” (22 October 1972). I see woman and her nudity as the mainspring of our being (and art), as “the major incident in man’s life,” shaping the psyche and constituting the sensory experience. She is eternal and there is no poetry possible without her. I sing of woman who is both my passion and interest, who is the balance point of various beings, the very cause and end of life, perhaps the means to rediscover the original magic of life.

To me, the human body is a picture of the human soul I celebrate to understand the world and the self. I glorify nudity to explore the consciousness, the inner landscape, lost in muddle of the external chaos.

By writing brief, personal lyrics, or confining myself to the privacy of love-making, I enlarge myself to the universal sameness of human feelings. We are flesh in sensuality and there is divinity in it. The fleshly unity is the reality, the passage to experience divinity. As a poet I try to transmute and transmit memories of experience, possibly more with a sense of irony than eroticism:

“While I was petting and necking/lying over her body/she was calculating whether/she could afford a new saree/from what I would pay her/tonight” (14 April, 1973); and

She remains indifferent to my fingers
moving to stir her cool nakedness
my hungry touch causes eructation
at intervals I caress her back
wobble about the torso or rest on
the thighs hoping she will be turned on
but warily I persist in half-sleep
she lets me enter for convenience
let it end the sooner the better

Before I end, a line or two about my haiku, too. It suits my temperament. In fact in most of my regular poems, the haiku rhythm should be easily discernible. It seems to have become the basic unit of my poetical expression. I developed serious interest in its art and craft from about early 1990s and now, whatever I feel or observe, or whatever my inner experiences at a given moment of time, I try to image them in my poetry. has been a great forum for me to reach out to a larger audience. It is here that I discovered a number of non-academic but very good poets who are neither trite nor dull but refreshing and delightful.



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