Since time immemorial, poetry has been considered as the most superior form of art. And, more than often, it is poetry that is widely read across the globe—much more than the other forms of literature. However, due to the upsurge of “intellectuals” across the globe, sometimes, this high genre, too, is but made a fool of in the world arena. For example, in a recent list at a literature blog, Kumar Vishwas was ranked 26th among the top 500 poets ever. Yes, you hear me right—with seven poems in his belt, he is supposed to be one of the foremost poets ever—a legend! Let’s have a look—
As a student of literature, we’ve been taught of one thing—appreciation of literature is totally subjective: what I find great might just fail you. Having said that, there’s no denying that good poetry is always considered a piece of art—you might not like a part or two, but you can’t deny their exclusivity. Coming back to the list, the first 50 poets do feature Kumar Vishwas but no T.S. Eliot or Charles Baudelaire—the stalwarts of Modernist poems. Modernist poems, capturing stark realities, are no poems, is it?
A student of literature or not, every Indian seems to be acquainted with the works of Rumi, Ghalib and Kabir. In fact, according to intellectuals around the globe, Rumi remains one of the best love poets who have ever lived. Well, this might be just an apt time to change this notion and take Kumar Vishwas’ name ahead of even Rumi—like they have done in this list:
Before delving deep into the world arena, let’s consider some of the best poets in the Indian subcontinent. This list which contains Kumar Vishwas’ name among the top 30 poets is bereft of names of great writers like Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Agha Shahid Ali, Gulzar, Harivansh Rai Bacchan and even Kaifi Azmi who are considered as great stars in the literature of the Indian subcontinent. There might be two reasons behind it—firstly, Mr./Miss listmaker hasn’t read and compared their poems (comparing is something which all students of literature must do); secondly we’re too inferior to understand the high art in Kumar Vishwas’ poems. Well, seeing the confidence with which the list has been put up, the second reason might just be it!
Okay, we know that any poet shouldn’t be judged by the number of poems he or she has written, but in order to understand his/her writing style, caliber and genre, we must read at least a dozen of poems? Mr./Miss listmaker is indeed a superior being in terms of knowledge and intellect, otherwise how could Kumar Vishwas be scaled notches above Larkin, Donne and Rilke.
The list traces poets across a vast period of time—from the age of Shakespeare to, well, Kumar Vishwas. Poetry, as it is genuinely thought, doesn’t only have to be romantic—it traces tragedy, apathy and disillusionment as well, among many. So, it’s just useless to forge a comparison between William Wordsworth and Charles Baudelaire—or, for that matter, Kumar Vishwas and Rabindra Nath Tagore!
It is a bit conspicuous but don’t you think we’re suddenly seeing Kumar Vishwas’ poems everywhere, all of a sudden? Till yesterday, he was just another person writing, well, good poems but suddenly he’s being counted among the top 30 world’s best poets ever—ah! The perks of being a ruling politician!
Politics of India has always shaped and reshaped the literary arena of the country—we’ve seen innumerable politicians taking on to writing and painting, and even excelling at that. Our dear ol’ Mamata Banerjee is a case in point. However, Kumar Vishwas seems to have surpassed even the “tigress” of Bengal by claiming a position atop Kaifi Azmi, Gulzar, Joy Goswami (the great Bengali poet; lesser known, ofcourse) and even, William Blake!
We recommend you to understand the art in poetry first, make a judgment after reading innumerable poems and poets—and then jump headlong into making a list. Poetry is an art and not a game to be played by anyone and everyone.