MY CASTE, MY SHADOW: Selected Poems (Balbir Madhopuri)


ISBN 9789383723706


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Year Published

ISBN 9789383723706


Balbir Madhopuri, poet, prose writer, translator and editor, was born in 1955 in Madhopur, a small village in district Jalandhar, Punjab in a Dalit family. At his birth he was named Balbir Chand. Later on, in 1990, he changed it to Balbir Madhopuri, dropping the latter part of his name ‘Chand’ because, he thought it connected him with a particular religion…

“Balbir Madhopuri’s poetry can be called as “the poetry of hope”. When his contemporary Indian urban poets are mostly writing about self-absorbed abstract themes. Madhopuri’s poetry is full lives, and livelihoods. By reading his poems one feels as if one is touring all over Punjab, his native state and coming in contact with people who are real. Madhopuri has been living in Delhi for last several years. But he writes about his community, thus bringing a rich cultural capital into his creativities. His use of symbols and metaphors is unique. Be it Ekalavya, Banda Bahadur or His Old Man, all his references are to be read in a particular historical context. The most telling points in the poetry collection are the poet’s self-reflectivity on the idea of caste, class and gender inequalities.Written in a simple and yet very effective language, Madhopuri’s poetry can be read as an alternative discourse to life, nature and literature. The English translation of his poetry has come out very nicely. Simple, accurate and rhythmic, Madhopuro’s poetry in English translation will surely travel a long way and give a message of hope to otherwise hopeless world.” – Dr. Raj Kumar, Professor and Head, Dept. of English, University of Delhi

“For Balbir Madhopuri literature is a revolutionary weapon for awakening the consciousness and securing the rights of the oppressed and marginalized people. The realist core of his poetry is dedicated to the humanistic, progressive and rationalist ideologies. Balbir often seems to be anti-establishment and is in favour of the masses, and their interests and upliftment of all in the society. Most of all, his prose too has a poetic flavour.” – Dr. Renuka Singh, Professor (Retd.) Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi


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