Poetry is so much a part of people's lives that crowds often assemble!

"Poetry is so much a part of people's lives that crowds often assemble in the villages around a narrator who recites and interprets the epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, and who has survived the impact of the printing press and cinema. Such a recitation may take a few weeks." —Tambimuttu, Poetry, January 1959
In 1954, while in India on a lecture tour, Poetry editor Karl Shapiro began to collect materials for a special issue of the magazine featuring contemporary Indian poets. Fifty years later the magazine returns with the September 2007 Indian Poetry Portfolio.


While the poems in this new portfolio differ greatly from those in the 1959 collection, they remain in keeping with the Indian poetic tradition of "engagement with society," as guest editor R. Parthasarathy notes.
About the new feature, Rabindra K. Swain from Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India has sent this note: "This month I am surprised and delighted at the same time to find a fine selection of great master poets from India by an equally great poet, R. Parthasarathy. Your magazine is to be admired for it is giving space to Indian poetry at a time when it has been overshadowed, publicity-wise, by Indian English fiction."
And Kerry James Evans writes in to say, "By including such poems as Udayan Thakker's 'The Cobbler,' and Chennaveera Kanavi's 'I Do Not Intend to Write a Poem,' you have given readers and poets sensible poems that uncover these "hidden doors"--that give a certain sense of what a poem can do. These poems speak to a universal audience, do not hinder language with abstraction, as Pound so feared, and they move brilliantly from the mundane of ordinary to the importance of now. "

Originally Published: September 7th, 2007

Don Share became the editor of Poetry in 2013. His books of poetry are Wishbone (2012), Squandermania (2007), and Union (2013, 2002). He is the co-editor of The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine (2012), and editor of Bunting's Persia (2012) and a critical edition of Basil Bunting's poems (2016). He...