Early Indian Poetry in English : An Anthology: 1829-1947

Edited by Eunice De Souza, Oxford University Press, 2005, xxxi, 341 p, ISBN : 0195677242, $26.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Early Indian Poetry in English : An Anthology: 1829-1947/edited by Eunice De Souza

Contents: 1. Introduction. 2. Henry Derozio. 3. Kasiprasad Ghose. 4. Shoshee Chunder Dutt. 5. Govin Chunder Dutt. 6. Greece Chunder Dutt. 7. Ram Sharma. 8. B.M. Malabari. 9. Toru Dutt. 10. Manmohan Ghose. 11. Joseph Furtado. 12. Sarojini Naidu. 13. Dhan Gopal Mukherji. 14. Harindranath Chattopadhyaya. 15. Rustam B. Paymaster. 16. Jehangir Rustomji Patell. 17. S.H. Jhabvala. 18. Annaji. 19. Beram Saklatvala. 20. Fredoon Kabraji. 21. Samuel Solomon. 22. Raman Vakil. 23. Kapil P. Thakkar. Appendices. Bibliography.

"This diverse selection of Indian poetry in English, written in the 19 and early 20 centuries, reveals the poets' experimentation with language, theme, and form. Lyrical epics, legends, ballads, and romantic and spiritual poetry, all find place in this interesting collection.

Uncovering fresh biographical material and little-known details on many of the poets of the time, it includes works by: Ram Sharma, who was much sought after despite his criticism or praise of the government in his poems and newspaper articles; Manmohan Ghose, whose writings include poignant lyrics on the death of his wife, and an experimental lyrical epic on the First World War, the follies of human history, and God's role in it all; Kasiprasad Ghose, who created for himself the persona of a Shair in the Indo-Persian tradition, indicating that though he wrote in English his stance was that of an Indian poet; Joseph Furtado, a bilingual poet whose poems in English and Portuguese have been praised for their simplicity and carefully cultivated artlessness; Henry Derozio, whose poetry was permeated by a distinctive melancholy that may have had its source in both his personal life and in the status of his community; Toru Dutt, who brings personal memory and commentary to her treatment of mythical figures; and her father Govin Chunder Dutt, whose poems are poignant expressions of the pain he felt at the loss of his children.

Also featured in this anthology are the Dutt brothers, Shoshee and Greece, Annaji, B.M. Malabari, Sarojini Naidu, Beram Saklatvala, Samuel Solomon, and Raman Vakil.

Eunice de Souza's lucid introduction and brief note on each poet sets this anthology apart from other similar collections. She critiques the work of previous anthologists for underplaying the immense role played by English in shaping 19 century Indian literature as a whole. She also challenges established notions about this body of work as being imitative, tepid, and unpatriotic.

This collection will be invaluable for students of English literature and South Asian studies, as well as the general reader interested in Indian writing in English." (jacket)

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