Published On: Fri, Mar 18th, 2016

The Absent Chair: Keeping the world safe for poetry

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absentNew Delhi: In the warm and vibrant setting of the Oxford Bookstore, the session began with an introduction by Namita Gokhale on the value of Poetry and how it brings rhythm , reason and intuition to human understanding. “It is poetry and poetry alone that reminds us of the essential and fundamental truths”. The significance of the Absent Chair on the dais was explained to the audience: it represented every poet/writer who faced death, who had been silenced or imprisoned or otherwise prevented from speaking.

The evening saw a mosaic of poetry from various languages along with translations for the benefit of the great number of poetry lovers present. Verses from Amrita Pritam, Elena Diaz, Susan Cloud, Paash, Perumal Murugan, Manjit Tiwana, Faiz Ahmed Faiz (to name a few) were shared by the panelists along with their own admirable works. The panel spoke of the necessity of claiming personal, intellectual, and emotional freedoms within the framework of legal, political and social freedoms. Singer, composer Harpreet Singh lent a rustic flavour by concluding the readings and conversation about words and freedom with his soulful renditions of Faiz and Paash.

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