Indian poetry in English

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Indian English poetry is the oldest form of Indian English literature. Indian poets writing in English have succeeded to nativize or indianize English in order to reveal typical Indian situations.[1] Henry Louis Vivian Derozio is considered the first poet in the lineage of Indian English poetry followed by Sri Aurobindo, Sarojini Naidu, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Toru Dutt among others. Among the contemporary Indian English poets, Nar Deo Sharma occupies important place because of his literary achievements.


Indian poetry in English has a longer and more distinguished tradition than Indian fiction in English.

—Pankaj Mishra Times Literary Supplement. International Books of the Year, 3 December 2004:10

Nissim Ezekiel is considered to be a pioneering figure in modern Indian English Poetry.His first book, A Time to Change, was published in 1952. The significant poets of the post-Derozio and pre-Ezekiel times are Toru Dutt, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Sarojini Naidu, Sri Aurobindo and Rabindranath Tagore. Some of the notable poets of Ezekiel's time are A. K. Ramanujan, R. Parthasarathy, Gieve Patel, Jayant Mahapatra, Dom Moraes, Kamala Das, Keki N. Daruwalla, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Shiv K. Kumar, Arun Kolatkar and Dilip Chitre. Rabindranath Tagore wrote primarily in Bengali and created a small body of work (mainly prose) in English and was responsible for the translations of his own work into English.

If Indian poets in English are less well known abroad than the novelists it is probably because their concerns are personal, local and yet universal; they do not write, at least not directly about the nationalist and postcolonial political and cultural themes that the West patronizingly expects, even demands, from the formerly colonized.

—Bruce Alvin King Modern Indian Poetry in English. New Delhi. Oxford University press, 2004


Other notable 20th century poets of English poetry in India include Eunice De Souza, Gieve Patel, Kersy Katrak, P. Lal among others.The younger generation of poets writing in English are Abhay K, Adil Jussawalla, A. J. Thomas, Anand Thakore, Anju Makhija, Anjum Hasan, Arundathi Subramaniam, Hoshang Merchant,Anupama Raju, Madan Gopal Gandhi, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Bibhu Padhi, C. P. Surendran, Desmond L.Kharmawplang, Dileep Jhaveri, E.V. Ramakrishnan, Anuradha Bhattacharyya, Gopi Kottoor, Jayanta Mahapatra, Jeet Thayil, Jerry Pinto, K Srilata, K. V. Dominic, D. C. Chambial, T. Vasudeva Reddy, Bibhu Padhi, Kumar Vikram, Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih, Makarand Paranjape, Akhil Katyal, Linda Ashok, Mani Rao, Meena Kandasamy, Menka Shivdasani, Fengkha Deep Daimari, Lalthanmawia, Manohar Shetty, Mustansir Dalvi, Nandini Sahu, Priya Sarukkai Chabria, Rachana Joshi, Ranjit Hoskote, Rita Malhotra, Nar Deo Sharma Robin Ngangom, Nitoo Das, Rukmini Bhaya Nair, Sridala Swami, Sumana Roy, Sudeep Sen, Sukrita Paul Kumar, Nalini Priyadarshni, Gopi Kottoor, Vijay Nambisan, Vihang A. Naik, Tapan Kumar Pradhan, Yuyutsu Sharma and Joshy K J among others.

Modern expatriate Indian poets writing in English include Meena Alexander, Ravi Shankar, Sidhartha Bose, Shanta Acharya, Sujata Bhatt, Tabish Khair, Vikram Seth, Vijay Seshadri and Yuyutsu Sharma among others.


Notable anthologies of Indian English Poetry include Ten Twentieth-Century Indian Poets ed. by R. Parthasarathy, Three Indian Poets: Nissim Ezekiel, A K Ramanujan, Dom Moraes ed. by Bruce Alvin King, The Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets ed. by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Reasons for Belonging: Fourteen Contemporary Indian Poets ed. by Ranjit Hoskote, 60 Indian poets ed. by Jeet Thayil, Harper Collins Anthology of English Poetry ed. by Sudeep Sen, Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry edited by Menka Shivdasani[2][3] published by Michael Rothenberg in 2004 ; Ten: The New Indian Poets. Edited and Selected by Jayanta Mahapatra & Yuyutsu Sharma. New Delhi/Jaipur: Nirala Publications,[4] The Dance of the Peacock: An Anthology of English Poetry from India edited by Vivekanand Jha widely representative of Indian English poets among others.

See List of Indian English poetry anthologies for a more comprehensive list.

Awards and laurels[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ A Study of Indian English Poetry International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 2, Issue 10, ISSN 2250-3153, October 2012
  2. ^ "Contemporary Indian Poetry, "Like an Abhang, Unfinished"". BigBridge.Org. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry Edited by Menka Shivdasani". Michael Rothenberg. BigBridge.Org. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  4. ^ Yuyutsu Sharma, "Ten: The New Indian poets: Edited and Selected by Jayanta Mahapatra & Yuyutsu Sharma" (review), 27 October 2012.
  1. Chinhade, Sirish. Five Indian English Poets. New Delhi. Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 1996
  2. Das, Sisir Kumar. A History of Indian Literature (3 volumes). New Delhi. Sahitya Akademi, 2000.
  3. Iyengar, KRS. Indian Writing in English. New Delhi. Sterling Publishers Private Limited, 2002.
  4. King, Bruce. Modern Indian Poetry in English. New Delhi. Oxford University press, 2004.
  5. Mitra, Zinia. Indian Poetry in English :Critical Essays. New Delhi, Prentice Hall, 2016
  6. Naik M.K. A History of Indian English Literature. New Delhi, Sahitya Akademi, 2004
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