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A Poem a Day: Gulzar to select, edit and translate 365 poems

The collection will be out in October, 2020

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
August 19, 2020 11:54:45 am
gulzar poems, gulzar poetry book, gulzar poems, gulzar poem book collection, gulzar poem harper collins, indian express, indian express newsThe book took six years to shape, according to Ashok Maheshwari, the managing director of Rajkamal Prakashan, whose imprint Radhakrishna Prakashan has come out with Boskiyana. (Source: Express Archive)

There is a vast treasure of poems in India, and HarperCollins, India has come up with a way to make it more accessible. The publication house has teamed up with celebrated lyricist Gulzar to compile 365 poems in 34 languages by 279 poets. Titled A Poem a Day, it has been assembled in the style of one poem a day.

A Poem a Day began as a thought – why not have a poem to read for every day of the year, selected from the wonderful Indian poetry that has been written since 1947? I started with some of my favourite poets, but almost before I knew it, we had poetry by 279 different poets writing in as many as 34 languages. I firmly believe that poetry doesn’t know any borders, so, along with poets from Gujarat, Punjab, Kerala, Goa, Odisha, I included poets writing in Tamil in Sri Lanka, in Bangla in Bangladesh and in Urdu and Punjabi in Pakistan,” Gulzar said.

“The poems appear in English translation, which is a language that, thanks to our history, a majority of Indians are familiar with. But I wished to make the poems my own, and to write them again in my own way in a language and idiom that is truly our own; therefore I transcreated the poems (except the ones that were originally written in Hindi or Urdu) in Hindustani, the language in which I write,” he added, also highlighting how the project was exhaustive but rewarding.

A Poem a Day is a book like no other, and it is a great privilege for us at HarperCollins India to be publishing Gulzarsaab’s labour of love, which he has been working on for several years now,” Udayan Mitra, Publisher, HarperCollins India was quoted as saying.

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