Swarabarna speaks up for dying art - Cultural group aims to popularise poetry recitation among people

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  • Published 10.05.12

Bhubaneswar, May 9: A group of art enthusiasts in the capital is organising recital sessions to revive the dying tradition of poetry recital. Their aim is to inspire people to come to attend such events and learn the art of poetry recital.

Swarabarna — a cultural organisation that started in the capital in 2010 — is taking the help of painters, stagecraft professionals, actors and writers to draw attention of the general public through proper recital of poetry.

Poetry recital was earlier a part of the course curriculum in some Odia medium schools. But, the tradition is slowly waning. “Through proper recital, even a mediocre poem would seem interesting and attract people. On the other hand, if the recital is bad, the listeners will not appreciate even a well-written poem. Keeping this in mind, we have started this movement through our organisation. Initially, it was confined to our family, friends and the peer group. But now, we have included others from the city,” said Asim Basu, a well-known artist and theatre personality, who also writes and directs plays.

There was a time when the traditional pala and daskathia were the only mode of social gathering and recreation. Many important social messages were passed through recital of certain themes and the performers also used to add a personal touch to the recital of poetry penned by legendary ancient Odia poets.

“We wish to revive the tradition of poetry recital in the society. We want people to come and listen to poetry, not only from the authors, but from readers having mastered the art of reciting poetry in an interesting fashion,” Basu said, adding, “To popularise it, we are now taking help from other artistes to conduct recital sessions where no one reads his own poem, but poetry written by others.”

Popular Odia theatre and film personalities such as Ajit Das, Binay Kumar Mishra and Debu Bose are now taking part in the recital sessions across the city.

“As the theatre artistes are well versed with the dialogue delivery and modulation of voices, we think people from the acting background will be the appropriate ones for the recitation. Apart from our own recital sessions, other organisations such as the Bhubaneswar Sahitya Sansad and the Godabsrish Sahitya Sansad have also been roped in to organise recital sessions at various locations across the city,” said Basu’s daughter Bhaswati, a theatre artiste and actor, who won an award for best actress in a supporting role for her film Kathantara in 2005.

Poetry recital in cities such as Calcutta and many places in Kerala attract huge audience. In Calcutta, at times people even have to pay a small fee to attend certain recital sessions.