Linguistic Perspectives and Existential Anxiety in Arun Kolatkar’s Poems

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Linguistic Perspectives and Existential Anxiety in Arun Kolatkar’s Poems  This paper focuses on the linguistic perspective and existential anxiety in Arun Kolatkar’s poems. Arun Kolatkar is not a familiar name for many of us, in fact until he was included in the undergraduate syllabus of English Honours by West Bengal State University two years ago he was not known to us. Arun Balkrishna Kolatkar (1932 –2004) was a poet from Maharashtra, wrote in both Marathi and English. Radically experimental in nature, his poems are oblique, whimsical, mysterious, baffling and at the same time dark, sinister, and sarcastic and funny. His poetry represents the quintessence of modernism and left profound influence modern Marathi poets. Despite his inspiring and profound creativity it is ironical that his greatness has not been adequately acknowledged or recognized even after 7 years of his death. I would like to begin by quoting from one of Kolatkar’s Marathi poems. main bhAbhiiko bola

kya bhAisAbke dyuTipe main a jAu?
bhaRak gayi SAli
rahmAn bolA goli chalAungA
mai bolA ek raNDike wAste?
chalao goli..
He translated the poem into English himself as “Three cups of Tea” allow me beautiful
I said to my sister in law
to step in my brother's booties
you had it coming said rehman
a gun in his hand
shoot me punk
kill your brother i said
for a bloody cunt
(Three cups of Tea) Although a major influence on Marathi poetry, he is primarily known for his first book of English poetry, Jejuri (1976), a sequence of 31 poems about a visit to the temple of Khandoba at Jejuri, a small town in western Maharashtra. A visual artist and designer by profession Kolatkar went on to win the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1977, while his Marathi verse collection Bhijki Vahi won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2004-2005. He claimed that he was inspired by the Beat generation poetry as well as...
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