Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shiv Kumar Batalvi - Live Interview (Presentation - Desh Ratna)

Watching this interview with the Punjabi poet, the late Shiv Kumar Batalvi, I could not but reflect that poetry, and art in general, is far greater than its creator. Once the poet’s idea finds a language, the language works on its own- the shared repository of mankind’s long history and engagement with ideas and emotions, it cannot but dwarf its lonesome creator.
Batalvi’s talk is almost child like in the interview, and his answer to questions about “getting away from myself” and the death of an intellectual are as naive as they are innocent. Same for his answer to the question of the inspiration of his poetry. Batalvi was not a great Punjabi poet, at the same time, his poetry is marked by a melancholy lyricism that brought a freshness to the language.
Here is the rare footage from the BBC’s television with Batalvi in 1970, when he was 32. He died three years later at the age of 35. The interview is in Hindi/Urdu



*** (I met Shiv Kumar a number of times during his stay in Britain and I was more than sorry to learn of his death. My sympathies and best wishes go out to his widow and his children. I shall remember his friendliness and his eagerness to learn as much as he could about the state of poetry in Britain. But I shall never forget his performances. I have seen many hundreds of poets perform but I don't think that I have ever witnessed such displays of intensity and passion. I knew I was close to a genius.---Spencer Leigh )





1 comment:

  1. No doubt, Shiv was one of the great poets of Punjabi.

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