Saturday, 22 March 2014
Sabad - World Poetry Festival, Delhi (3)
Poetry and Other Arts, etc
Poetry and Other Arts, etc
Four more sessions today, all very well atteded. The first involved Nigerian poet Tanure Ojaide, Kamal Vore, Desmond Kharmawphlang and Chandrakant Devtale from India, and Les Wicks with his second session. Readings in various Indian languages with translations on the screen or spoken. The idea of having a 'chair' foir the poetry readings is a little odd and has been adapted here. The chair doesn't have to do all the introductions but does announce each poet and finally reads himself or herself. Tanure had us singing in response, and Les spoke one poem with music. Everyone does a notional 15-17 minutes and, on the whole, most people do.
Both Tanure and Les were on the next panel, a discussion about Poetry and Other Arts, joined by Norwegian poet and novelist Ingrid Storholmen, and Indian poet and scholar Bhalchandra Nemade. I was in the chair. I had quickly devised four basic questions to address to the panel though it came down to thre in the end, and made sure to link and ask each poet in turn, and to vary the order of answers. The danger is always that people will set off on long solos because the subject interests them, but this group was very good so we finished with military precision, on the dot, then allowed questions from the floor. It went splendidly. I have now been told I have a future as an entrepreneur something i devoutly wish not to become. The four original questions were about the experience of the various arts in childhood, about practical experiment with other art forms, though this blended into the proposed third question regarding collaboration with other arts, and the last, briefly addressed was essentially about ecphrasis and how far the different art forms constituted a unified field.
These are all huge questions and the occasion was informal so we had to rest content with brief answers tha would have led to many more given time.
I met Bharat Ravikumar, a close Facebook friend, in the intervals, but it was brief as was every other conversation. If you really want conversation you have to stay up late at night.
Two after reding slows, the first with Irish poet Lorna Shaughnessy (chairing), the Oscar Cruz (Cuba), Maram-Al-Masri (Syrian but living in France) and Shafi Shauq, India. After a short break we were back with Sheen Kaaf Nizam (India) Ingrid Storholmen, Moya Cannon (Ireland) and Nikola Madzirov (Macedonia). If I don't comment on the readings at this point it is because this is all present tense and it would be invidious to remark, though after all this is over I will write a book considering highlights and other points of interest.
Having not slept more than a couple of hours the night before, I returned at 6pm missing an apparently marvellous singing performance. I was quickly asleep. Then downstairs and to that longer, more satisfying conversation over Old Monk rum, involving Sudeep Sen, Ranjit Hoskote, Richard Gwyn and, at the end, Nikola, into midnight in the restaurant.
I won't try to put a live photo up here. I'll borrow a generic one until I am home and able to edit a little.
Early tomorrow again.