Indian English Poetry has gone through several phases of evolution and also revolution – once the younger generation of poets has now almost become obsolete and their poetry is put in the forlorn box making way for the concurrent race of Indian poets writing in English who are often in dilemma whether to follow the footsteps of the generation before them or carve a new identity for themselves – many try their hands at poetry but creating something remarkable if often far for them, still. Amidst this, S A Joseph, a poet from Kerala who also happens to be an academician, has written something which has caught the interest of many critics as well as the poets themselves – An Apology for Shakespeare, and this title, the poet claims, is a defence of poetry.
An Apology for Shakespeare is a collection of poems and mostly the poems in this somewhat wonderful collection (many reasons to say so) either ask questions or remind us where we have failed as a society in sustaining the art of poetry and almost replacing it with a kind of race to nowhere… There is also a kind of urge to come out of this delusional state of the world which is just nowhere suitable for the human soul to survive and thrive. Writes S A Joseph:
“I know not knowingly,
How to live here, my master,
For I am slowly fading and fading,
To the realm of an unconscious state, …”
Presenting a defence of poetry is the abstract idea behind this collection of poetry and according to the poet, a defence of poetry in prose couldn’t do now – we have to do it in the poetical language to show the readers how poetry can pacify the heart and mind and show the way. The poet is a firm believer in poetry and he believes in it even more than religion and politics. You can read for the reasons of the same in an interview with S A Joseph.
An Apology for Shakespeare, by all the means, is a collection of poetry which should not only be read and enjoyed but also studied in order to understand the concurrent flow of English poetry in India. The poems of S A Joseph are naturally Indian when he talks about faith and heavens. His poetry becomes universal by default when he talks about the deterioration of the human society.
“See thou my master,
My faded heart
Filled with despair.
Its real colour
No doubt almost suspended.”
AN Apology for Shakespeare is a surely an enjoyable as well as enlightening read for the lovers of poetry and poems in general. You can get a copy of the collection from Amazon and link has been added below for your comfort:
An Apology for Shakespeare
Read the collection of poems by S A Joseph and you will certainly enjoy it!