WORLD POETRY DAY OBSERVED AT USTM
Noted Poet & Broadcaster Mr. Rajeev Baruah (Director, AIR) addressing the audience on the occasion of World Poetry Day 2021 organized by the Department of English, USTM
Baridua, 9th Mile, Meghalaya, 20th March 2021: On the eve of World Poetry Day, the Department of English, USTM, organized an event of poetry recitation on 20th of March, 2021. This event was graced by the presence of an eminent poet and broadcaster, Shri. Rajeev Baruah. The event began with a welcome address by Prof . Garima Kalita, Head of the Department of English, USTM. She extended her warm welcome to the honorary guests of the celebration. Shri. Rajeev Baruah, Poet, Broardcaster and Director of AIR, Dr. R.K.Sharma, Advisor, USTM and Dr. A.H. Barbhuiya, Academic Registrar, USTM. For Garima Kalita, poetry is condensed thought and a thought in metaphor. For her, the celebration of the World Poetry Day comes as an opportunity to go back to poetry, therefore to love, nature and humanity in these trying times of unrest and catastrophe. Hereafter, Shri. Rajeev Baruah was felicitated by the faculty members of the Department of English with a Fulam Gamusa, a bouquet of flowers and a memento.
The audience was addressed by Dr. R.K Sharma who spoke on how poetry has the ability to reaffirm our common humanity and communicate the innermost values of our diverse culture. Dr. A.H.Barbhuiya also highlighted the importance of poetry as a strong emotion while also lauding the Department of English and its students on their creative prowess. With this, the Chief Guest of the event Shri Rajeev Baruah’ was introduced to the audience by Miss Sukanya Kashyap, Assistant Professor, Department of English, USTM. Mr. Rajeev Baruah is the recipient of the prestigious ‘Munin Borkakoty Award’ for Poetry. Till date he has 8 collections of poems to his credit namely Aghori Dinor Diary, Hoitu Mudra Dukh, Gosey Puhor Dia Din, Panir Ghor, Tumi Ki Kobi, Khali Bottleor Molita, etc. He has also written a book on Kafka, titled Kafka Katha which was published in the year 2020. He stands to be a widely admired person for his poetry collections like Lines in the Void which was published in 2009. One of his poems in Poem a Day: An Anthology was translated, compiled and edited by Gulzar. His poems were also recited by eminent poet, Shri Nilomoni Phukan, Dr. Indira Goswami and Dr. Hiren Gohain among many others.
The speech of Shri. Rajeev Baruah starts with a quote from Robert Frost- “Poet is a title, is a gift” as the title of poet is a gift bestowed on him. Mr. Baruah begins his discussion with a question on how he writes poems. His writings are a result of his three main ingredients- feelings, sensibility and experience. He writes his poems not to be called a poet but to speak to fellow human beings, as according to William Wordsworth, “A poet is a man speaking to his fellow men”. For him, one must have experiences to turn into poetry for ‘verses are experiences and not only feelings’. He moves the discussion on the subject of the poet further, by highlighting on how he expresses his thoughts/feelings through poetry. For him the medium of expression are words for which he recites a piece of his own words, ‘Sabdo Maalish’, in Assamese and Hindi, respectively. He believes the words of Stephane Mallarme- “Poetry is written with words, not feelings”. All poems for him are a product of circumstance. He stresses on the need of revision of works for its refinement. Shri Baruah is a writer who brings the ordinary subjects into poetry. He always attempts to say the unsaid, discover the unexpected and reveal the aspects excluded in other discourses. He doesn’t believe in a simplification of contents, which if followed, would be a case of cultural suicide.
This event proved to be a platform for many budding poets of the department as it provided opportunity to the students to perform recital of their self-composed poems. A poem written by Miss. Pramasa Saikia, Assistant Professor, Department of English, USTM, was recited to the audience as well. The poetry recitation competition saw the participation of many students from the university who presented their creative skills through the recitation of ‘Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night’ by Dylan Thomas. Sirin Mehtab secured the first position, followed by Klir Tissopi in the second position, with Dorathi Sohpdang and Tazneen Akhtar at the third position and a special prize of consolation was given to Akash Dhar, all from the M.A 1st Semester, Department of English, USTM. The event came to an end with the vote of thanks provided by Mr. Nirupam Kanti Sinha, Assistant Professor, Department of English, USTM.