Indian English Poetry by M K Naik
Indian English Poetry by M K Naik is one of those books which must be there on the study table of a student who is reading Indian English poetry in his graduation or post graduation syllabus. M K Naik is one of those few authors who is respected for his content and the way he writes their content in a book. And his book, Indian English Poetry (from the beginnings upto 2000) only proves this assertion! The book, academic and scholarly, isn't a typical book which documents the history of Indian English poetry. It is different and the difference makes it even more useful.
The front-flap on the book's jacket describes the purpose of this book wonderfully:
"This study attempts a concise and exciting critique of the entire range of Indian English Poetry, from the beginnings upto the year 2000."
Yes, this is the essential quality of the book which does not let it become another voluminous one like that by K R Srinivas Iyengar. Naik's book has only 180 pages and each page is worth the money you spend purchasing this book. There are 16 chapters in the book and each of them is wonderfully written, with the details you would need and with the critical inputs you would admire (while learning a lot).
Naik has given a fair share to each and every poet we think holds an important place in Indian English writing. After the initial surfacing, he starts the book with Aurobindo's poetry and goes on to write about the poets like Eunice de Souza, Nissim Ezekiel, Gieve Patel, Adil Jussawala, K N Daruwalla and many others. The opinions provided by the author are very precise and to the point - a student can easily comprehend and make sense out of it.
What you will like the most (perhaps) is the concluding chapter in the book - The Indianness of Indian Poetry in English. I am sure most of the students who will to conduct their research on Indian English Poetry, come across this odd looking but intriguing phase when they have to find out the Indianness in Indian English Poetry. M K Naik has wonderfully written on the topic and the best part is, he has been frank and honest!
"All genuine literature is rooted in a culture, a place and a time, which impart to it a unique flavour."
He argues about the cultural backend which plays an important role in shaping the mind of an author or a poet. Indian poets, as they grow in the diverse Indian society, should be supposed to be so when they write something and this is what we find. Nevertheless, mark the careful lexicon of the author - 'genuine literature'.
Dear readers and students, if you want to know about Indian English Poetry in detail and depth, you MUST grab a copy of the book right now. This might look a little costly but the book is worth it!