Subhash Kak

Subhash  KakSubhash  Kak
Subhash  Kak has been called India's leading
expressionist poet. He is the author of two other books 
of poetry The Conductor of the Dead and other poems
and The London Bridge and other poems. His poems 
have appeared in leading journals of Hindi and English 
poetry in India and the West.

 

The Kashmiri Poet of Louisiana

by Anwar Shaikh

Liberty
Vol. 4, Issue 14
Oct-Dec 1996
Emotion is the basic characteristic of a poet because a good verse cannot come into being until he feels a touch of excitement. Though emotion is one of the three groups of the phenamena of the mind, tnat is, cognition, will and feeling, it is the exuberance and refinement of feeling, which gives birth to tasteful and elegant poetry. However, nature has been generous to Subhash Kak of Louisiana; he originally comes from the Valley of Kashmir, whose natural scenery testifies to the fact that the Creator made this tract of land with the materials, which may be termed as marvel, mystery and munificence. This young man's poetry is not only enriched with the same elements as the soil of his motherland, but he is also a scientist. Though cognition is not an essential part of poetry, his scientific endowment serves as a bridle to the stallion of his emotions and he gallops at a majestic pace instead of going wild.

Subhash possesses the virtue of couching simplest situations in the manner that is creative and elaborate. This is what elevates him as an expressionist: his style makes the dull night fulgent with moonlight, renders the silent streams sing with ecstasy and induces the sullen birds soar higher and higher in search of satisfaction. There is a deja vu in his art, which makes the reader feel vaguely that he already knows it, though it is the first time he has read it. This is the suggestive power of Subhash, a kind of artistic telepathy.

A true poet is recognised by the reminiscences of his homeland when in a foreign country. This is an expression of his nastalgia, the evidence of his love and loyalty to his past. In his highly moving poem "My Father in Hawaii, " one finds the stunning imagery of Kashmir rolled into the Hawaiian landscape bursting with beauty, bliss and beatitude. His descriptive mastery creates an aura, which exhibits the smiling of buds, colours of a rainbow and melodies of the chirping birds associated with the immortal Valley where he was born and grew up.

The fluency of his verses clearly demonstrates his natural aptitude for poetry. He does not seem to be forcing himself to write a couplet or a stanza. Once he is moved by the effect of an event, it is the ethos of the happening that uses Subhash as the mouthpiece for its expression. No wonder, he has been called "the leading expressionist poet of India" by the National Herald.

The term "Expressionism" is used to describe an artist's deepest feelings. It is this characteristic of Expressionism, which earned the Expressionist drama of Germany the description: "drama of the soul." One can visualise Subhash's soul moving through his verses with hope and desire, yet the Lord Kama cannot be seen anywnere with his erotic arrows in search of pretty damsels. His passion is pure and pious, bordering on perfection, and not touched by the pollution of puerility. The "Inner Sarasvati" clearly demonstrates that the thirst for his ancestral values is being quenched by the genetic stream of enquiry quietly chanting praises of the Lord.

Subhash Kak has to his credit, another two books of poetry, namely "The conductor of the Dead" and "The London Bridge, " but here we are talking about his work: "THE SECRETS OF ISHBAR." This anthology comprises thirty- two poems and spans over sixty-two pages. It is available from: 

VITASTA,
B- 36 DDA Flats,
Saket,
New Delhi 110017, INDIA.

Books and Articles


 
Kashmiri Overseas Association
Kashmiri Poets