Arts & Culture

Hidden Gems of Poetry: An Ode to the Lesser Known Poets

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While poetry today has seen a drastic growth in terms of its audience in India, we trace down some of the lesser-known poets, whose words mimic magic.

When you hear the word poetry, your mind automatically imagines the romantic verses of Keats or the heavenly meadows of Coleridge’s poetics, often leading us to turn a blind eye to some of the lesser publicized, but equally lyrical, poets of the world.

Here is a collection of some unexplored gems, that are must-reads for those with an inevitable hunger for classic poetry. 

1. Anne Michaels

This Canadian poet and novelist has works translated in more than forty-five countries. One of her most amazing works is “All we saw”, which is a short collection of poems dealing with treats and abrupt desires, love, death and the intimacy and vastness of the connection between two people. Another of her highly acclaimed works includes “The weight of oranges” which bagged her the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Americas. Her work is easy to read and comprehend, and at the same time has a beautiful foreplay of words.

2. Kobayashi Issa

One of the most prolific Japanese poets of the early nineteenth century, Kobayashi’s works are now translated into English, his works are a deep reflection of the miseries he faced in his life, and how through his travels he gained enlightenment about Buddhist philosophy and incorporating it into his life. His poems are short and crisp, some of the famous ones being, “even with insects”, all the time I pray to Buddha” etc. among many others.

3. Joy Goswami

Joy Goswami is a Bengali poet, and one of the most influential Bengali poets of his generation and a recipient of many literary awards. Some of his best work includes poems like, “Hieroglyph”, “Wars march into the past “among many. He has also won the Sahitya Akademi Award, 2000 for his anthology “pagalo tomara sange”.

4. Emilio Prados

Emilio Prados was a Spanish poet and editor. Some of his best work is now translated into English, for example, “final shadow”, “enclosed garden”, “next to the stream”, etc. among many more.

5. Meena Kandasamy

This Chennai based poet, writer and translator is a published author and has found her poetry in some of the most reputed poetry forums. She expresses the aim of her poetry as that of sending a social message, focusing on her struggles of being a Dalit woman living under the shadows of caste oppression, discrimination and gender relations.

One of her most amazing works is her version of “the seven stages”.

6. Nabanita Kanungo

A teacher-poet hailing from Assam, her debut collection of poems, “A map of Ruins”, highlights her love for her hometown Shillong, and the memories she holds on to from the years gone by.

A sense of nostalgia prevails in her work which attracts readers.

7. Ingeborg Bachmann

She was an Austrian poet and writer, who has published different plays and poetry, expressing her reflective thoughts on languages, and the mix of cultures she has experienced throughout her lifetime.

Some of her works are, “Darkness spoken: The collected poems of Ingeborg Bachmann”, “Die gestundete Zeit”, etc. among others.

These are just a few among the many gifted writers who scintillate their audience through lyric and rhyme. Their poetry is simple and versatile, yet brilliant enough to make you want to come back for more.


Feature Image Credits:


Avnika Chhikara

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