Kedarnath Singh Biography - Hindi Poet

Born- 7 july 1934
Kedarnath Singh, born 1934, in Chakia in the Ballia District of Uttar Pradesh in northern India is a famous Hindi poet of the modernist style. He is appreciated mostly for the poetic feature of his verse, rightly in tune with his susceptible action of the multi-dimensional correlation between man and nature. His verse, marked by clearness and sympathy, touch up on issues confronting his times. Though too much use of imagery and symbolism filled his early verse, his verse seems to have evolved more time, transforming it in new direction. The common propensity in his verse is that of capturing moods rather than being evocative. He is recognized for his economy of language, never overstating his case.

Singh studied at the Benaras Hindu University where he received his Masters degree in 1956 and doctorate in 1964. He educated at various colleges in Benaras, Gorakhpur and Pandrauna, before moving to Jawaharlal Nehru.

He has retired as lecturer in the School of Indian Languages, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

He has published seven books of verse and numerous works of style, verse transformation and analysis. He has edited an anthology of Hindi verse after 1960 for the Sahitya Akademi and has translated into Hindi the verse of Brecht, Baudelaire, and Rilke.

Akala mem sarasa received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1989. He has also received the Hindi Akademi Award and the much desirable “Kumaran Asan” (Kerala) Award. Kedarnath Singh is widely acknowledged as one of the major writers of contemporary Hindi poetry.

Delicate, simple, economical, nuanced and allusive, Singh’s verse has been linked with the new verse and Progressive Writers’ activities in Hindi. His work has been described as ‘polyvocal’ and ‘dialogic’, surcharged with a folk and mythic awareness, able of evoking ‘the quiet mystifying and miraculous attendance of each day realities’.

Singh’s early years in rustic India endowed his verse with an lasting heritage of folkloric tropes and imagery for which his verse is well known. In the cultural center of Benaras, he was connected with the Progressive Writers’ Movement.

Deeply imbued by the pronunciation and cadences of his local language of Bhojpuri, Singh has formed a distinct verse that embodies a moral dream without overt didacticism (proceeding, as he puts it, “from observation towards notion”); that skillfully draws on the resources of metaphor without being imprisoned by it (“I have weaned myself away from this obsession with images”); that is available without being simplistic, and intensely local without being simple (“The locale I portray – my basti – is not restricted to a area”).

Singh believes his verse strives to embody “an Indian aspect” and is intensely aware of his “linguistic roots”. In an article entitled “Modernity in Hindi verse”, he points out that Hindi mode has entailed a upgrading of words and receptivity, but without a passive replication of western fictional paradigms.

His own ‘modernity’, he acknowledges, is entrenched in the technical and scientific advancements of his era, but also has to challenge with Lalmohar, the man in his village “whose stone-blind illiteracy and unawareness makes my entire modernity sarcastic”. His modernity also has to challenge with the roiling contradictions of recent India – its enormous custom of humanism and tolerance as well as its troubling heritage of casteism, communal pressure, religiosity and environmental humiliation. And at last, his modernity also has to discuss that internal stress between his rural and urban identity: “This stress is a familiar fact of our each day life but it seldom draws our serious attention. For me this knowledge constitutes an artistic observation and on a deeper stage, it forms an essential element of my ethical awareness.”

Singh holds that his modernity “enters its time through its place”, a value that gives it a definite area validity: “When I dive deep in my reminiscence, I discover a border of orientation already present there. My primary school in the town did not have a clock....And our time-keepers were the noontime (dupahariya) flora... The connection between noontime and these blooms struck us as a wonder and it seemed as if these small blooms themselves formed noontime.”

Thus the perennially full questions of situation and contemporaneity, Singh points out, are sometimes impeccably resolute in verse: “Would you believe/ that in today’s sun/ is the warmness of a Saturday of the next century?/ Right now/ all our city plants/ are taking their sustenance/ from the green manure/ hidden deep in the eighth century earth...”

The verse obtainable in this version are culled from three of Singh’s books.

Major Works –
Poem Collection : Abhi Bilkul Abhi, Zameen pak Rahi Hai, Yahan se Dekho, Akaal mein Saaras, Baagh,Tolstoy aur cycle
Essay and Stories : Mere Samay ke Shabd,Kalpana aur chhayavad, Hindi kavita mein bimb vidhan, Kabristan mein Panchayat
Others : Taana Baana

Post a Comment