The Contribution of Women to Indian English Poetry: From the Past to the Present

om prakash



Indian English Poetry has come of age in terms of global recognition, quality, variety and quantity. Women poets of the country also share the credit by virtue of their contribution. Historically and broadly, they could be divided into four categories- poets of the Pre-Independence Period, for instance, Toru Dutt; poets of the Pre-Independence and Post –Independence eras like Sarojini Naidu and her contemporaries and new poets or contemporary poets.

By reading their poetic pieces one point becomes clear that they wish to share their vision and their mission, their emotions and their aspirations with us. They want to establish their identity in society and are firm to retain their individuality at home .Among the early women poets  are Toru Dutt, Sarojini Naidu, Nilima Devi the poet of The Hidden Face(1936),Monika Varma, Kamala Das, Serapia Devi, Eunice de Souza, Suniti Namjoshi, Gauri Deshpande, Mamta Kalia,etc .

Poets born in free India are of high worth; some of them have already gone abroad and reside there. Meena Alexander and Chitra Banerjee live in U S A; while Sujata Bhatt resides in Germany. Kamala Das ,Mamta Kalia and Neelam Saxena Chandra  are bilingual writers. As far as new talents are concerned ,they include Mani Rao,Nandini Sahu,Tishani Doshi and Meena Kandasawy. Imtiaz Dharker  is  a big name today, with outstanding  collections .Smita Agarwal aspires to rank among the major poetic voices.Meena Kandasawy raises gender and caste related issues.

Their work is a vital part of women literature; it is also precious for the mainstream literature. The emergence of women poets in English is a good indication towards a balanced society. It is happening despite the fact that English is a second language here .Indian English is a variety of English and it has become a literary language here .It is growing with other languages here, giving new scope and new opportunities. Sometimes, Indian English has to   face criticism at home and abroad. The poetry of some new women poets shows how they are dedicated to bring about a change in society.


Keywords: - Feminist, Diasporic, Contemporary, Identity, Collection

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