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The Butterfly -- Arun Kolatkar

Guest poem sent in by Kedar Keshavan
(Poem #680) The Butterfly
 There is no story behind it.
 It is split like a second.
 It hinges around itself.

 It has no future.
 It is pinned down to no past.
 It's a pun on the present.

 Its a little yellow butterfly.
 It has taken these wretched hills
 under its wings.

 Just a pinch of yellow,
 it opens before it closes
 and it closes before it o

 where is it?
-- Arun Kolatkar
this one's my fave kolatkar poem. the wonderfully abrupt last line gives just
the right effect....the movement of the butterfly.....something vanishing
before it appears......

Arun Kolatkar is a bilingual poet - he writes both in english  and marathi.
although his poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies since 1955, he
has so far published only two books, 'Jejuri' (1976), in english, and 'Arun
Kolatkarchya Kavita' (1976) in marathi. some of his early poems in english
appaeared in 'An Anthology of Marathi Poetry: ed by dilip chitre (another
poet writing in eng n marathihe could be considered a wanderer of language.....certain of his poems are
dually located....the marathi texts of 'irani restaurant in bombay', 'crabs'
and 'biograph' are found in 'arun kolatkarchya kavita' while simultaneously
they are poems in english smuggled into the language through the unnamed
checkpoint of verse.

a second reason for these poems' neglect is 'jejuri', the book kolatkar he
has come to be identified with. few books of english verse published in india
have been so successful. it won the commonwealth poetry prize, and quickly
went into three editions. asked by an interviewer whether he believed in
god, kolatkar replied 'i leave the question alone. i don't think i have to
take a position about god one way or the other.'

gauri keshavan.


  Arun Balkrishna Kolatkar was born in Kolhapur, Maharashtra in 1932 and
  educated at the Rajaram High School there. He attended art schools in
  Kolhapur and Pune and earned a diploma in painting from the J J School of
  Art in Bombay. He writes in both English and Marathi and has authored two
  books. Jejuri ( 1976) in English and Arun Kolhatkarchya Kavita (1976) in
  Marathi. His poems have appeared in various anthologies and magazines
  since 1955. Some of his early poems in English have appeared in An
  Anthology of Marathi Poetry:edited by Dilip Chitre.

  Jejuri won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize and went into three editions. A
  German translation by Giovanni Bandini, of Jejuri was published by Verlag
  Wolf Mersch in 1984. Kolhatkar works in advertising and lives in Mumbai.

        -- [broken link]


 Two poems in the same general vein: poem #563, poem #599.

27 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Leo Long said...

This man is outstanding. My favorite poem is, The Station Dog.

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