The chapters of the book are:
Jayant Mahapatra is a well known Oriya poet both in English and Oriya. His poems have been published in periodicals in India and abroad. I was privileged to listen to him more than once speaking on poems and poets. I was also privileged to share platform with him and present a research paper during the Indian English Literary Festival in the Auditorium of Pondicherry University in February 2015.
In his address the eminent poet Mahapatra said, “Poems should always be faithful to life. First of all, a poet should be true to his/her inner voice. Among achieving many things a poem should touch human lives”.
I do not write poems and I do not claim to be a poet. But, like many poetry lovers I like to read and enjoy poems, when they are published in newspapers and magazines. Then, thanks to my poet friends, I often get their new poetry books. So I often read poems. But my talent in poetry is limited. So I tell my poet friends not to send me their poetry books for reviews and comments.
All the same here I have translated the poems of an Indian English poet Prof. Dr. K.V. Dominic. He has written four poetry books. I have selected some 52 poems and translated them into Gujarati. I have several reasons for translating Dr. Dominic’s poems.
First, I have enjoyed reading and rereading Dr. Dominic’s poems. His first collection of poems “Winged Reason” was published in 2010. Then “Write Son, Write “appeared in the following year. His third collection of poems entitled “Multicultural Symphony” came out in 2014. They all impressed me very much as I enjoyed them. I am deeply touched by Dr. Dominic’s poems as they express the values, ideas and visions, which I uphold. So I felt moved to translate and share them with Gujarati poetry lovers.
Second, as Jayant Mahapatra said, I heard the inner voice of poet Dominic through his poems. I see that they express very well my own ideas and understanding of human life and the whole creation. Then, some of his poems are rich with ancient cultural beliefs, stories and myths. They are capable of enlightening and forming people. Usually such poems interest everyone.
Third, nature and environment are my favorite subjects. I see that directly or indirectly many of Dr. Dominic’s poems deal with them. Like the poet Dominic I believe that all people need not only to be well acquainted with those topics but also need to protect and preserve and promote healthy environment. Dr. Dominic’s poems do inspire and encourage us in these directions.
Forth, poet Dr. Dominic views writing his poems as a service to humanity. The humanity today is oppressed by injustice, immorality, irreligious hostility and all types of evil. We need to be conscious of this dire situation and try to be out of it. In this Dr. Dominic’s poems serve us as a guiding beacon of input.
Fifth, like me Dr. Dominic does not believe in art for art’s sake. His poems reflect the life, society and culture. So many of his poems echoes human pain and suffering as well as lack of true freedom and the yearning for freedom and liberty.
Religious terrorism and communal conflict as well as wide spread corruption and evils, rape, etc like contagious sicknesses affect and paralyze human life and the society. The duty of the poet is to confront these forces and to indicate the road of justice and morality for all. Dr. Dominic is doing well in this direction. So as a fan of Dr. Dominic poems, I like to read and reread them time and again.
I feel a sense of fulfillment in translating Dr. Dominic’s poems. I am sure that poet Dominic’s poems through my translation will be widely read by poetry lovers and experience a sense of gain. Dr. Dominic’s poems are a sort of ‘Tiffin’ for journey of life.
“This is a book that offers penetrating reflection and continually emphasizes its themes of liberation and love and draws connections to the challenges and faithfulness in our time. It is a book written in a conscience, spiced with stories and living examples, which is simple language instill, in the reader the courage to live a life worth living, inspite of everything. Everyone should read this book so that we may all become instruments of peace in the new millennium to make the world a better place.”
“Who would profit from reading this book which consists of 25 essays, “all anchored in love and values” (p.10), some of which have earlier appeared in some national periodicals like Indian Currents and The Examiner? The Foreword says that “the book’s declared aim is to help young people, irrespective of their religion, caste or colour, grow us as mature, responsible individuals, attentive to the needs of others, specially the weak and the poor” (p.14). However, there’s no gainsaying the fact that it offers others too an opportunity to look at things, people and situations from a different point of view. In fact, this book is a pointer to the fact that with such an all-encompassing line of thinking flowing through his writings, Varghese Paul, a Jesuit priest, is all set to emerge as successful a writer in English as he has been in Gujarati, the language in which he has written no less than 36 books in just two decades!