Passion, imagination fuel poetry in Pune colleges

Students are finding newer avenues for expression with open mic and slam poetry events

pune Updated: Sep 07, 2018 15:30 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,poetry,Pune colleges
The first meeting of the poetry cell of Abasaheb Garware college was held on Thursday. (SANKET WANKHADE/ HT PHOTO )

With verses of a poem in mind, 18-year-old Aarya Pathak of Abasaheb Garware college performed poetry at an open mic event for the first time, a year ago, though she was tensed at the beginning of the event.

Aarya believes that poetry as a form of expression can be extended to more students through the newly launched poetry cell at the college. The first meeting of the poetry cell of Abasaheb Garware college was held on Thursday.

Expressing through verses is not an isolated phenomenon anymore. It is a trend which is catching up fast with the city.

Pranaya Lokhande, 18, a first year B A student ofSymbiosis College Of Arts and Commerce, is one among those who have moved to Pune to pursue their passion for poetry.

Having enrolled for a first-of-its-kind course on slam poetry at Symbiosis college of arts and commerce, Lokhande said,“The advent of slam movement in the country and in the city is opening new doors to let the verses out of the pages.”

Lokhande was talking about the increasing number of open mike and slam poetry events in the city which is giving students an opportunity to perform.

“Poetry will continue to be personal but again personal also has public and political connotations and poems are the best way to portray those interconnections. We are now seeing more students getting interested in poetry as it a process of healing, both internally and externally. From my school recitations to open mike and eventually to establishing this college cell, my self-confidence of expressing myself has increased and evolved over the years,” said Pathak, a BSc student at Garware College.

According to Aditya Narayan of Fergusson College, the performative aspect of slam and open mike poetry is making it more relatable and popular.“It is like writing a novel and staging a play; in traditional poetry the language is more rhythmic and complicated as there is more scope to ponder, but in performance poetry you just have that once chance to get the word across to your audience, and so the language is comparatively simpler. But, that does not mean it is devoid of imagination, metaphors and alliterations. It is a poem performed with a sense of beat,” said second year BA (English) student Narayan.

With open mike and poetry slam events being held by prominent groups like Bullock Cart Poetry, Airplane Poetry Movement and Pune Poetry Slam, students are finding newer avenues for expression.

Vishwambhar Anand Vaidya, 21, third class, BBA communication student from Flame University, said,“As opposed to my batch which had around 6 slam poets, my junior batch has around 15 slam poets. It shows a great increase and popularity in this form of poetry. But, it still needs to reach the right audience without getting stuck in the thought bubbles of people. Social media can help a lot in this aspect, but in Pune, as compared to cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, the reach is less. Hopefully in a few years, our words that have a lot of socio-political and personal substance will reach out to the masses.”

Though poetry recitation starts with passion, it is now branching out to help students build up their language skills and self confidence. Also, slam poetry competitions also have attractive prizes. Of late,a lot of colleges organise intercollegiate competitions.

Poetry is not directly related to the curriculum for most colleges, but it is a 3-credit course in Symbiosis liberal arts department . It is taught by city’s prominent spoken word poet Chandrakant Redican, who is the co-founder of Bullock Cart Poetry. Collaborating with Hilda David, vice-principal, Symbiosis centre of liberal arts, he has curated a six-month course on slam poetry, the first class of which was held in July, with 11 students from the first and third year of the under-graduate Liberal Arts stream.

“ It is a unique course and there is growing momentum around slam poetry across the country thanks to many fellow poets who have made such a course possible. This curriculum will not only make their education wholesome but will also boost their confidence. Today slam movement is global opening new doors ,” said Redican.

There are lot of full time slam poets who do shows just like any standup comedian.

There are poetry shows conducted in different cities and countries every week. A poet can present his original work in such platforms. Now, there are online platforms like Amazon and Netflix as well.

First Published: Sep 07, 2018 15:29 IST