Wednesday, March 27, 2019

090. Was Thomas Hardy A Poet Or A Novelist Really? P S Remesh Chandran


090. 

Was Thomas Hardy A Poet Or A Novelist Really? P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum


01. Article Title Image By Patti Black. Graphics: Adobe SP.

First published: 23 July 2013

1

Thomas Hardy really was a poet. But when he began to write poems in 1862, there were nobody to read them. Therefore, to attract an audience and to gain a good financial position he began to write novels with determination. As he was trained as an architect and pursued this profession for 11 years till he abandoned it in 1873, he showed the same skill in building his plots which made Under the Greenwood Tree, A Pair Of Blue Eyes, Far From The Maddening Crowd, The Return Of The Native, The Trumpet-Major, Two On A Tower and The Mayor Of Caster bridge highly successful. The money gained thus made his life successful and this architect built a beautiful home for him in Dorchester in 1885. He mingled in the literary and social circles in London and made friendships with Browning, Matthew Arnold and Tennyson. After writing a few more novels including The Woodlanders, Tess and Jude The Obscure, he ended his novel-writing career in 1894. 

2

Thus this determined poet, after gaining countless number of readers through novels, in 1898 began publishing the equally countless number of poems written through the years. They were as varied as poems on Nature and Man, Love, The Past and the Present of His Life, Poems Dramatic and Personative and Ballads and Narrative Poems. Nobody knew they were written many years back. The unknowing critics of his times considered his first volume of poetry as the mere caprice of an ageing novelist who would do better to stick to prose. He was sad about this and noted in his Life that many of these verses were written before their author dreamt of novels. He wrote, the date of publication is but an accident in the life of a literary creation and it denotes only when the contents start into being for the outside public. He always regarded him as a poet who had to write novels for a living. His poems are held in high esteem for their rich musical content. The poem on the British bombardments on the 'Valenciëen' will still look written yesterday, if the single word is replaced with Vietnäam. Other poems also are equally musical. 

3

Thomas Hardy very much wished to be known as a poet rather than as a novelist. Unlike novels, poetry is condensed thought, and he wished to be known for poetry. It was only to draw an audience towards him and to make them read his poems that Hardy wrote novels, far later in life than he started writing novels. Unfortunately, his novels became tremendously successful and no one would admit he was a poet. Even then he stopped writing novels; not to write poems but to begin publishing them. If this intellect ardently wished to be known as a poet and we deny him this humble privilege, even without considering the merits of his poems over his novels, it is sad indeed. Many people who have read his novels, except littérateurs, do not even know he was an acclaimed poet, far better and precise in thoughts and in their expression than the novelist in him. When his overwhelming popularity as a novelist prevented his fame as a poet, he tried in every way to prove that he had been writing poems since very early years, quoting dates. How furious he became at this kind of denial of poet hood to him by his contemporaries can be gauged from other incidents which happened in London in those times. Another Londoner of his times, William Shakespeare, also wished to be known for his poems rather than for his plays. Shakespeare considered himself a poet, not a dramatist. When a Shakespeare Memorial Theatre was to be constructed in London, Thomas Hardy opposed it publicly and condemned the movement, vehemently protesting that Shakespeare was no more a playwright but a poet and predicted that he would soon be begun to be considered so. His prediction became true; Shakespeare has now been recognized as a poet and has ceased to be acted on stage; he is now being studied in universities as he wished. The people of his times denied Thomas Hardy poet hood. Why should we also? 

4

Many critics of Hardy and Shakespeare used their pens like a surgeon's knife. That is at least what the greatest critic mentioned at the end of this paragraph did in his lifetime. I was not labelling these two writers, Hardy and Shakespeare as poets, playwrights or novelists but was only repeating their well known wishes to be recognized as poets, a position of much esteem in those times when novel was only blooming. It was a general observation that Shakespeare has ceased to be acted on stage as a dramatist but is being studied in Universities as a poet. It was his wish, like it was Hardy's. Actually his plays were poetical masterpieces, except for a few non-poetic utterances here and there, which shall be acknowledged as such and given due credit. We have to see that both Hardy and Shakespeare were master craftsmen in poetry- Hardy in poetry with individuality and Shakespeare in poetry imprisoned in his plays. Because they excelled in twin literary forms, we certainly are unsure of what to call them and our usual method in dealing with such situations is coining words to qualify them as both. But they themselves knew about this confusion which was there even in their own times and have cleared it for us, by revealing their express wishes to be recognized as poets. It is better to depend on their judgment. As pointed out, what will we call a few writers other than these, like, for example Matthew Arnold, who have led us into exactly similar situations? 

5

Substitute the word Valencieën in Hardy’s poem with Vietnaäm, and the poem walks ahead two centuries. The poem Valencieënnes was written by Thomas Hardy in 1793, as sung by Corporal Tullidge in The Trumpet Major, written in memory of a pensioner soldier. He himself in his prefaces to his poems has said that under compulsive circumstances, he has had to have many of his poems loosened into prose instead of compressing imagination and ideas into poems as he wished. Keeping poems like this for years and years and years till he can gain popularity for novels and then making readers go through his poems was sad. We have never known or ever recognized Hardy as a poet who had sentiments on the horrors war victims undergo. He did create this as a poem instead of expanding and loosening it into a novel as his readers and publishers would have wished. Long years after the horrors of the Viet Nam War, decades after reading about the strong opposition to this war from American citizens, soldiers and congressmen, it would be how prophetically Hardy predicted things two centuries earlier. Those who read this poem simply substitute Valencieën with Vietnaäm, wherever that word appears and see how the poem seems to have been written yesterday.


02. Article Title Image By Jarrod Reed. Graphics: Adobe SP. 

THE VALENCIEËNS

Thomas Hardy

We trenched, we trumpeted and drummed,
And from our mortars tons of iron hummed
Ath’art the ditch, the month we bombed
The Town o’ Valencieën.

‘Twas in the June o’ Ninety-dree
(The Duke o’ Yark, our then Comander been)
The German Legion, Guards, and we
Laid siege to Valencieën.

This was the first time in the war
That French and English spilled each other’s gore;
I dreamt how far would roll the roar
Begun at Valencieën.

‘Twas said that we’d no business there
A-topperèn the French for disagreën;
However, that’s not my affair –
We were at Valencieën.

Into the streets, ath’art the sky,
A hundred thousand balls and bombs were fleën;
And harmless townsfolk fell to die
Each hour at Valencieën.

They bore my wownded frame to camp,
And shut my gapèn skull, and washed en cleän,
And jined en wi’ a zilver clamp
Thik night at Valencieën.

‘We’ve fetched en back to quick from dead;
But never more on earth while rose is red
Will drum rouse Corpel!’ Doctor said
O’ me at Valencieën.

‘Twer true, No voice o’ friend or foe
Can reach me now, or any livèn been;
And little have I power to know
Since then at Valencieën.

I never hear the zummer hums
O’ bees: and don’ know when the cuckoo comes;
But night and day I hear the bombs
We threw at Valencieën.

Those who try to sing this song will soon realize that it has a fine band music impregnated. The year of the composition of this poem is marked differently. 

6

What I am wondering is how vehement might have been the uproar and fury when Thomas Hardy in his times in London raised this subject of William Shakespeare desiring to be considered as a poet rather than as a playwright. It was simply not acceptable then to recognize one for his poetic talents. Even today, among academics, we can see this reluctance to accept him as a poet, even while they teach his poems in universities. They simply explain that he is not a poet but a dramatist. They cannot walk back in time. It was this honour to be taught in universities that Thomas Hardy mentioned as a privilege of the poet. He predicted: Shakespeare will cease to be acted on stage and begun to be studied. Today, poets are the most discarded lot, in printing industry as well as in electronic media. Many websites and publishers say, 'no poetry please.' But till the time of the industrial revolution, to be recognized in society and in universities as a poet was a great honour which every poet of those times wished for himself. Not that playwrights had not a place but theirs was what is that of poets' now- secondary everywhere. It was great reluctance of academics in royal institutions then to recognize one as a poet; it was convenient and easier to brand him as a playwright, novelist or critic, as in the case of Shakespeare, Hardy or Arnold, regardless of what that writer actually wished to be known for. Let us leave it to Thomas Hardy to judge on what William Shakespeare of his times and of his city wanted to be recognized as, a poet or a playwright, if we are still adamantly refusing to accept that poethood was the most desired and covetous position for writers in bygone times, that Shakespeare mounted stage merely for making a living, and that his plays are nothing but poems with the exemption of a few unpoetic utterances here and there. Why did Thomas Hardy emphatically demand that Shakespeare must be recognized as a poet and studied in universities rather than as a playwright and acted on stage, and why did he vehemently oppose the construction of a drama theatre in London as Shakespeare memorial? When was Shakespeare actually begun to be studied in universities? Answers to these questions will shed more light on the secondary subject of this discussion, I think. 

7

When I posted this subject as a discussion thread in a Linked In Group, many of my littérateur friends disagreed with my views and even suggested I look up Wiki Answers Dot Com for clearing my head. As I was eager to collect more information on Hardy's questioning the relevance of celebrating Shakespeare not as a poet but as a playwright, I looked up Wiki Answers as suggested, to find more authoritative information on my question, why Thomas Hardy vehemently opposed the construction of a drama theatre in London as Shakespeare memorial. What I only saw was unfortunately what I myself wrote there sometime back, using my User Name: Sahyadribooks. That information was not enough; a more comprehensive academic answer was what I sought which I did not find there. Since Linked In’s group policy changes, that discussion thread is now not visible, and Answers Dot Com deactivated all user accounts and escaped with all the answers thousands of User Members and Category Supervisors like me contributed. Anyway, I am reproducing here what I contributed as question and answer Answers Dot Com at that time. My question contribution was, ‘Why did Thomas Hardy disapprove establishing a Shakespeare Memorial Theatre?’. My own answer contribution was the following: 

Thomas Hardy was once invited to join a committee to establish a Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. His reply was that he was feeling against the desirability of such a memorial to Shakespeare. His observations and opinions on Shakespeare were uncommon but genuine. Hardy believed that Shakespeare did not particularly belong to the theatre world. His distinction as a theatre man was infinitesimal beside his distinction as a poet and as a man of letters. That his expression of himself was cast in the form of words for actors on the stage and not in the form of books to be read, was an accident of his social circumstances which he himself despised. Thomas Hardy here also made the prophetic remark that, of all poets of high rank whose works have taken a stage direction, Shakespeare will someday cease altogether to be acted on stage, and simply begin to be studied. Hardy thus proclaimed his stand against any material monument to the poet, as his works were a great monument. However he later consented to the commissioning of some 'colossal' statue in some place public. Hardy himself has noted these in his Life. He specifically noted the word 'colossal' to denounce the tastes of the vulgar minds of his times, which are exactly applicable to us in our modern times. Vulgarity never changes with Ages. 

Hardy’s attempt was not to disparage Shakespeare as a playwright but to establish him as a poet.


03. Article Title Image By Zoltan Tasi. Graphics: Adobe SP.


About the Author P. S. Remesh Chandran: 

04. Author Profile of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives. 

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan: The Intelligent Picture Book. Born and brought up in the beautiful village of Nanniyode in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Trivandrum, in Kerala. Father British Council trained English teacher and Mother University educated. Matriculation with distinction and Pre Degree Studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship. Discontinued Diploma studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single. 

Author of several books in English and in Malayalam, mostly poetical collections, fiction, non fiction and political treatises, including Ulsava Lahari, Darsana Deepthi, Kaalam Jaalakavaathilil, Ilakozhiyum Kaadukalil Puzhayozhukunnu, Thirike Vilikkuka, Oru Thulli Velicham, Aaspathri Jalakam, Vaidooryam, Manal, Jalaja Padma Raaji, Maavoyeppoleyaakaan Entheluppam!, The Last Bird From The Golden Age Of Ghazals, Doctors Politicians Bureaucrats People And Private Practice, E-Health Implications And Medical Data Theft, Did A Data Mining Giant Take Over India?, Will Dog Lovers Kill The World?, Is There Patience And Room For One More Reactor?, and Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book. 

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSRemeshChandra 

You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos
Blog: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/
Site: https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/
E-Mail: bloombookstvm@gmail.com
 
Post: P. S. Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum, Padmalayam, Nanniyode, Pacha Post, Trivandrum- 695562, Kerala State, South India.



089. What If They Begin To Burn All Books? P S Remesh Chandran


089. 

What If They Begin To Burn All Books? P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum


01. Article Title Image By Henry Be. Graphics: Adobe SP.


First published: 23 July 2013


The question is, how a heavy mass of old books can be dealt with. Books which have been our long-time companions would certainly have transferred to us what they want to tell to this world and posterity. It is good to record the noteworthy things in them in good uniform-sized diaries, especially beautiful passages, burning sentences, immortal utterances, memorable remarks, so that some one from the coming generation who accidentally stumbles upon our diaries would be tempted to read those books in their original form. That is what we can do to those immortal creations of our bygone generations. No one will ever again go through those thumbed up volumes. So go ahead and burn them, give them a decent burial, after preserving their real content. And keep the gems with you, which can be easily read while lying cozily somewhere. Feel relaxed to bear fewer burdens. Always remember to buy standard size, light weight paperbacks in future. If we remembered and followed this rule of buying light weight books always, the burning would be easy.

02. Article Title Image By Michael D Beckwith. Graphics: Adobe SP.
 

Burning books in not new or rare. It happened in every age and in almost all societies and it happens even today. Some human societies consider touching a book with one's body except the fingers, stepping over them or lying over them, an unforgiven sin. But greater number of societies found it no sin to burn whole collections and invaluable libraries, when they conquered enemy and hostile civilizations. Turks burned Christian's knowledge bases and Christians in their turn those of others. Buddhists were the greatest to loose till very recently. The greatest ancient university in the world where students from almost all countries graduated, Naalanda in Asia, where lecturers travelled in campus on horses and professors upon elephants, lost its library which stretched and stretched across buildings, this way. And the hundreds and hundreds of university buildings also were burned down. Wiping out knowledge bases of enemies was the first thing visionary leaders of victorious armies ordered, except perhaps the Alexander of Macedonia. Today books are burned as a symbol of religious and political protest against the things they contain. Undemocratic governments, military administrations and fascists also confiscate books and burn them.
   03. Article Title Image By Danny. Graphics: Adobe SP. 
 

Books indeed are valuable educational materials, which in many countries readers and students find difficult to buy due to their poverty or these books' non-availability. The first free service to provide students with free books, even at the risk of collapse of a country's economy was, the Mir and the Progress publishers of the Soviet Union for which they should be praised by the world. They printed good books in great numbers, both science and literature, belonging to both Russian and the World Literature, shipped them to third world countries and underdeveloped countries, and issued them free or at throw-away prices to students, general readers and researchers. Millions of students benefited from this generosity of the people of Russia and became doctors, engineers and scientists, which otherwise they could not have done, considering the price of study text books. The world is thankful to the Russians for doing this. This did contribute to the collapse of their economy and to save their economy, they had to do away with this gesture of goodwill of theirs recently. Wherever a book is burned, know that there will be a person somewhere in the world who is deserving and wishing to read that book but unfortunately is unable to purchase it. When we have to burn books, know that it is better to ship them to deserving countries and people, like used clothes. Great publishers burn unsold books in millions, to keep new editions moving and also to keep prices not falling. First they remove the cover, to prevent the book from coming again to market through unorthodox channels. Then they ship it to burning yards, defying the needs of the poor to read them. Great book godowns also are believed to do this when their bank mortgage fails and they are auctioned, to clear space without violating conditions of publishing and selling. The Russian gesture was the right answer but since their withdrawal from the scene, large scale book shredding and burning by large companies have only multiplied and books have become unaffordable articles to students. No other country has ever been known to have the good will to help book readers the old Russian way. Whatever accusations we have against the Russian Communist Party about their totalitarianism and partisanism, we shall not forget to be thankful for their exporting free knowledge.

Suppose they not only begin to burn all the books but are nearly finishing it too, with the exemption of allowing one single set of books to survive, what will you choose as the exemption? I will prefer English Verse In Five Volumes, selected and edited by W. Peacock. If they do not allow a set of books but only one, it shall be Palgrave's Golden Treasury.


04. Article Title Image By Dariusz Sankowski. Graphics: Adobe SP.

Courtesy:
 
This discussion was started by Mr. Ronald Hadrian as 'What would you do if they begin to burn all the books?' in Linked In Group Language, Literature and Criticism vide http://lnkd.in/SfT9jX which link does not work now. As such, this valuable discussion is unavailable to readers now. The above paragraphs are what the author of this article originally contributed to that discussion.



About the Author P. S. Remesh Chandran: 

05. Author Profile of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives. 

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan: The Intelligent Picture Book. Born and brought up in the beautiful village of Nanniyode in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Trivandrum, in Kerala. Father British Council trained English teacher and Mother University educated. Matriculation with distinction and Pre Degree Studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship. Discontinued Diploma studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single. 

Author of several books in English and in Malayalam, mostly poetical collections, fiction, non fiction and political treatises, including Ulsava Lahari, Darsana Deepthi, Kaalam Jaalakavaathilil, Ilakozhiyum Kaadukalil Puzhayozhukunnu, Thirike Vilikkuka, Oru Thulli Velicham, Aaspathri Jalakam, Vaidooryam, Manal, Jalaja Padma Raaji, Maavoyeppoleyaakaan Entheluppam!, The Last Bird From The Golden Age Of Ghazals, Doctors Politicians Bureaucrats People And Private Practice, E-Health Implications And Medical Data Theft, Did A Data Mining Giant Take Over India?, Will Dog Lovers Kill The World?, Is There Patience And Room For One More Reactor?, and Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book. 

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSRemeshChandra 

You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos
Blog: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/
Site: https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/
E-Mail: bloombookstvm@gmail.com
 
Post: P. S. Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum, Padmalayam, Nanniyode, Pacha Post, Trivandrum- 695562, Kerala State, South India.



Tuesday, March 26, 2019

088. How Much Of Englisch Is English? P S Remesh Chandran


088. 

How Much Of Englisch Is English? P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum


01. Article Title Image By Njoy Harmony. Graphics: Adobe SP.

First published: 22 July 2013

How did the English language originate and how it became the mother tongue of not the Brits only is an interesting part in the history of English language. The Angles, Saxons and Jutes were the earliest tribes to settle in the island. It is guessed that they migrated from Europe simultaneous with the dawn of the Golden Age of Philosophy, 6th Century B.C. Angles’ Land became England in time. Romans called this land Britannica, giving it the name of Britain in later years. Letters in the word Englisch also changed to English.

   
2

England owes its language to France. England was an island surrounded on all sides by water, with so many inlets, islets, lagoons and shores. So it was only natural that the people there in the distant past developed as great canoers and fishermen. Where will they sell all this fish which quite surely they themselves can not consume? France was the nearest landmass and from Dover to Calais it was only a few kilometres of brave canoeing. Unlike the secluded island, France was a vast open landmass with open borders and long civilization- highways. It was not only the price of their trade wares, but the richness of a classic language also, that the fishermen islanders brought back to Britain. Many Frenchmen still comment that "English is nothing but our French, wrongly spelt and wrongly pronounced."

   
3

The seafaring skills of the Englisch helped in propagating their language and promoting colonization. Thus this language, unlike any other, began to be developed not from a single nation, but from nations around the world. As it was a living language unlike the dead Sanskrit, and as it had no reluctance towards assimilating and borrowing words from other languages, it began to grow fast and splendid. English language was the legacy left to various nations by those island seafarers. Where they stayed the longest, their language and the language skills of the people there developed fast and better. They had to pack up from America very early. They left India early. They left Africa only recently. We can assume the logical perfection of this language each of these continents attained by contact with their colonial administrators. In India, in many states like the North Eastern Border States, English is now the mother tongue of the people there, not a foreign language. English is in the same position in quite a number of places, states and nations. It is not the mother tongue of the Brits only now. It is still growing and developing.

   
4

Almost all words in the English language have three parts- the root, a prefix in the front and a suffix in the back. Sometimes there will be all these three and sometimes there will be the root alone. The root is the main thing, to convey an idea. Even though there are hundred thousands of words, there are only nearly seventy two roots, all originated in England or borrowed from Latin, Greek or French. The prefixes and the suffixes also are originated or borrowed the same way. Persian, Indian and Chinese languages also have made their contributions. Why this much Persian and Indian words came to the English language was due to English officers serving in the East India Company. Persian was the regal and official language in the emperors' courts in the East and all English officers had to study it. Except a few, almost all of them were well educated scholars and nobles who learned this language such well that translating famous Persian poets into English became their hobby to escape from Indian boredom. And they did this extremely well and this period is a remarkable chapter in the history of English literature and language. Had there been no such learning of Persian by these British Civil Service officers serving in India, there would not have been this much Persian poems brought into the English language. In critics' opinion, 'they filled the pages of English poetry books with the scent of roses and sweet sounds of bulbuls.' Normally, this brought a fine collection of Persian words also into English. Unlike the tight-lipped orthodoxy of a few British of those times, the language did not show any signs of untouchability, especially among the British officers serving abroad and sending every fortune that Britain enjoys today to their country. The language was not at all reluctant to assimilate new words from new lands and it grew each day. It is now no more a property of the British alone as it never has been in the days of yore. Just as Britain's prosperity of today was once the prosperity of the world's countries they defeated and ruled, their language is now world's language, taken in return. Trevelyan gives a good account of the development of this language, though his account has not been updated nor is complete.

   
5

[In answer to the argument that there were never as few as 72 roots, not even in the Old English Period]:

Languages in their beginning will have only fewer roots, prefixes and suffixes, because in that period of their origin, they would only need fewer number of words to express and convey the limited number of ideas their home society generates. As human experiences broaden and the horizon of man's knowledge widens, there will come the need for more number of words in their language to convey to other members the more number of ideas and the more elaborate schemes of ideas each member of the society arrives at. New roots will have to originate along with new prefixes and suffixes. If borrowing them from nearby and neighbouring communities and societies is easy, that will be the first thing done, instead of going into the tiresome intellectual task of building new ones. This was what was happening in our earliest societies at the time when their languages were originating and emerging. This author's native tongue Malayalam, which has the strange fascination of a language name that can be read equally correct from left to right as well as from right to left, has 56 characters. Whatever ideas are conveyed through the medium of this Malayalam language will have to be conveyed through English as well which has but only 26 letters in its alphabet. How this can be done is by borrowing as many roots, prefixes and suffixes as are available to be borrowed, building as many words as are possible and by assigning different meanings to every word in the language, the meaning changing every time it is used either as a noun or as a verb. No language can begin with exactly 72 roots. We know how little children speak in the beginning: Father Mother Quarrel. As they grow older, their sentences will become: Father And Mother Quarrelled Together. Every language in its original stage will be 'Father Mother Quarrel.' There will be no prefixes, no suffixes, no adjectives, no joiners.

   
6

[Regarding a wise comment that English can be considered as a child of French and German and that Old English like Beowulf was practically German and Middle English like Canterbury Tales are a mixture of French and German]: 

Three countries are considered to have played a role in the English epic poem, Beowulf. It is a saga of the wars of the Swedes against the Danes as told by the Angles. Someone after an adventurous sea travel brought this story kept in his memory to the Angles Land which is now England where it was later cast in the poetic form in the Old English. Thus Sweden, Denmark and England are considered to have played a role in the English epic poem Beowulf. When it was written down in the word form generations after its origin, the author's name was lost during King Henry VIIIth's atrocities in monasteries. Because Beowulf originated not in English but was translated into it, it is noted that there have been many problems that had to be experienced during its translation to the English language. Beowulf, created by the unknown author before the Sixth century consists of 3182 lines, formulated at a time when there were no books and paper but were read loudly before great audiences. It was constructed not to be read with eyes, but to be sung loudly in public. Its creator was first trained as a traditional singer. It survived as an oral epic, handed over through generations orally. In those times, poetry creators were extremely skilled in constructing very long instant poems before audiences. Therefore they often did not have a concrete continuous story. Several adventures of kings and soldiers were clubbed together to form an epic. Moreover there would happen many editing and eliminations during these mouth to mouth transfer through generations. All these are impediments to even a skilled translator. Added to this is the fact that only one copy of the ancient manuscript survived raid and fire, which is kept in the British Museum. But the chief problem of translating the epic Beowulf is the ancient text being so complex and so imperfectly understood that only translations roughly equivalent in the modern English language have been possible till now. Language and literature of the island nation did not develop in isolation, as Mr. ….. here noted, but a few people still want to believe that way. 

7


A few centuries back, no one in Britain thought America would be pouring in this much literature into the English language. Today, American writers in English are a prominent part of English literature. Once it was equally unthinkable that fine English literature would be coming from Australia, Africa and India. Today what we doubt is whether the number of prominent writers in English from these continents and sub continents are to be counted in thousands or in ten thousands. We can partly admit that this language in these geographical regions was a gift of British colonial administration to these people, but to the people in these regions, this language eventually became the language for liberation. Colonial administration was not the only cause for non-British people mastering and writing in English, as is evidenced by the presence of innumerable gifted Chinese and Russian writers who write or wrote English literature. People now simply learn to converse well with people in other countries in the world, and choose the most convenient language for it which is English. The perfection these people attain in the use of this language is never to be doubted because literature shows that their language is totally devoid of bad vulgar uncouth words, generally, since they learn not from listening to born English language speakers but from reading English books available in their countries which would always be the best to find market in foreign countries. Naturally when they speak and write in English, it would be good faultless text book language flowing from them, a great solace to editors, proof readers and publishers. Wherever we look, in print books, magazines or online reading material, we can see this difference felt. There has now come an unbridgeable gap in the finery and perfection with which non-English speaking writers and born-English speaking writers write English literature each.



About the Author P. S. Remesh Chandran: 

02. Author Profile of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives. 

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan: The Intelligent Picture Book. Born and brought up in the beautiful village of Nanniyode in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Trivandrum, in Kerala. Father British Council trained English teacher and Mother University educated. Matriculation with distinction and Pre Degree Studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship. Discontinued Diploma studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single. 

Author of several books in English and in Malayalam, mostly poetical collections, fiction, non fiction and political treatises, including Ulsava Lahari, Darsana Deepthi, Kaalam Jaalakavaathilil, Ilakozhiyum Kaadukalil Puzhayozhukunnu, Thirike Vilikkuka, Oru Thulli Velicham, Aaspathri Jalakam, Vaidooryam, Manal, Jalaja Padma Raaji, Maavoyeppoleyaakaan Entheluppam!, The Last Bird From The Golden Age Of Ghazals, Doctors Politicians Bureaucrats People And Private Practice, E-Health Implications And Medical Data Theft, Did A Data Mining Giant Take Over India?, Will Dog Lovers Kill The World?, Is There Patience And Room For One More Reactor?, and Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book. 

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSRemeshChandra 

You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos
Blog: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/
Site: https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/
E-Mail: bloombookstvm@gmail.com
 
Post: P. S. Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum, Padmalayam, Nanniyode, Pacha Post, Trivandrum- 695562, Kerala State, South India.




087. B’Ware of W-Beginning Writers’ Publishing Platforms? P S Remesh Chandran


087. 

B’Ware of W-Beginning Writers’ Publishing Platforms? P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum


 01. Article Title Image By Pasja1000. Graphics: Adobe SP.

First published: 26 March 2019

Good things saying farewell to the world is something which saddens us. Author-friendliness is a good thing about not a few publishing sites. They provide authors with good publishing interfaces and provide many other supportive things like lengthy and links-rich author bio pages. In return they get data, information and pages which no other way they will get except by employing highly paid staff. But when enough data has been accumulated, there is a tendency to oust writers from those sites and escape with the materials contributed by those writers.

Google’s Knol and Yahoo’s Associated Content and Yahoo Contributors’ Network.

Google has been famous for retiring its many famous services, caring nothing whether they are good to the world, but only caring whether they provide good and steady revenue resources. Their Knol, abbreviation for Knowledge, was a very good writing platform at which one could write and article in any language and publish it in multi languages simultaneously. It disappeared one day. Not that they escaped with the content; they of course provided time for authors to download their contributed content from their archives. Google Plus which also served as a fine publishing platform for articles, notes, images and videos was the last to go. Still they provided authors with an opportunity to download their content from archives as ZIP files. Knol and Google Plus did not pay authors. Their Blogger platform still remains and no one knows when and whether it would go.

Yahoo’s old Associated Content was renamed as Yahoo Contributor Network. Because they paid, unlike Google, they also held control over articles to ensure good content. For this, they evaluated and checked articles through supervisors before they were accepted for publishing in their platform. They paid according to a system based on Payment Per 1000 Impressions and also provided writers opportunity to take up writing assignments for payment and even showed them what assignments were available based on their experience and portfolios of interest. They even ran an online university to coach writers and even awarded degrees and diplomas! It was an excellent system for coaching writers- their writers and free of course. Anyway, Associated Content and Yahoo Contributor Networks have gone and they have not come with something new. Only the Yahoo News remains which is, it is assumed, invitees only.

Wiki Answers did this and Wikinut may do this.

What will happen if a good publishing site turns sour, angers its contributors and gradually begins to fail in fulfilling its responsibility to writers and regular readers? Such things usually happen- though not rarely- in the publishing world. ‘Publishing world’ here means digital publishing platforms, not traditional book-publishing companies. Because the last to come into this field- Writerly Words- also has its name beginning with a W, I think I have to mention by name two fine publishing platforms which recently either turned hostile to writers, or ultimately closed doors to them. They are Wiki Answers and Wikinut.

First step is providing writers with good intellectual challenges and keeping them writing.

Wiki Answers, or Answers Dot Com, was once described (by themselves?) as the fifth-largest website as regard to accumulation and dissemination of knowledge. Formed following the patterns of the famous and now indispensable Wikipedia, ten thousands of students asked questions and thousands of contributors answered them, all going to a digital data bank. Contributors worked on a voluntary basis and were not paid for their time and services, but were allowed a Profile Page in their site. There they could display a few lines about themselves and provide links to their sites, blogs and portfolios. Many of these contributors worked as Supervisors also, devoting their precious time to enlarging and refining this useful and unique answer bank. There were also Halls of Fame- monthly, yearly and all-time- where the names of the foremost answerers in each category were displayed. In place of an incentive, and also as an encouragement, supervisors were sent gifts each year. Sometimes it would be a bag, and sometimes it would be a blanket. I don’t know about Category and Higher Supervisors: I was only a Floating Supervisor and a long-standing contributor.

Second step is kicking writers out and escaping with their contributions.

All things were going well till some changes in policy took place. This may have been due to new brats entering the Board. Old Hats won’t do such rash and ugly things. Or, some large corporation which is the least concerned about free knowledge gathering and free dissemination of it may have taken over. Anyway, one day, the contributors and supervisors were told by e-mail that they were not any more contributors and supervisors, they were not to log-in anymore, and that their profile pages have been taken down. So also were their names removed from where they appeared alongside the answers they contributed. So, this once-prestigious knowledge bank and free answering platform escaped with everything contributed by thousands of writers, to merchandise these writers’ creations at will at wherever they choose. Today they have all the answers and questions but no names or profile pages of contributors. It was plain piracy. [I do have files of what I contributed and emails of their notifications of publishing. I may someday publish it as a book for the student community to use free].


When Wikinut kicks out writers, they will escape with the full version of all articles free.

The same kind of brats-take-over is happening in Wikinut too. It was considered one of the finest writers’ publishing platforms in the world. In fact, as regard to web resources offered to writers, theirs were excellent. Their publishing interface also was one of the finest in the world among those freely accessible to writers. For years they paid writers in proportion to the advertisement revenue their articles generated. I don’t know how much, because I never even once clicked the ‘Your Payments’ link during my years writing there. (I enjoyed writing there till recently, and the best of my writer-friends were gained from there). In 2017, they stopped paying writers, saying they were thinking about shutting down unless paying writers could be stopped. They lost hundreds of fine writers as a result, along with thousands of articles they contributed through years. A few including me remained, for the sole reason that all articles were open to everyone including students and teachers free. Then they limited Author Bio to 400 characters which meant just two, at the most three sentences. It was like ridiculing writers and challenging them to leave. Then they introduced another change- writers could no more include their names in the titles of their articles- a change which achieved nothing and pleased someone in the board who never in life has been able to put down in words in the form of an article what he or she has in mind. That means, if I intended to publish an article titled ‘New Books From P. S. Remesh Chandran’, I had to title it just ‘New Books’ which would be meaningless anyway. More writers are sure to leave Wikinut, but not me, yet. The meanest thing about Wikinut is, though they allow contributors to download all their articles from archives, they will not allow complete delete of any article; you can edit and shorten the articles but they will keep all previous versions in archives. You know what this means- when they kick out writers finally and escape with their contributions like Wiki Answers did, they will use the full versions free.

Will the new Writerly Words also go the same way?

The point is brats may come to the Board, and the Administration. Uncouth changes may be introduced by the unripe people who somehow got into the information and publishing field. Larger corporations and companies may come with takes-over or mergers. Policies may change. History shows every such thing have only been discouraging and disappointing to writers in those platforms. The last to come to the publishing world is Writerly Words with its comparatively good web resources and supposedly assured writer-friendliness. But ‘Writerly Words’ also begins with a ‘W’ in its name. What will come of it in the future?
 



Tags:

Content Writing, English Prose, Free Student Notes, Indian Writers, Literary Articles Essays Reviews, Online Publishing, Prose Reviews Notes Appreciations, Prose To Poem, P S Remesh Chandran, Publishing Industry, Publishing Platforms, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, W-Beginning Writers’ Publishing Platforms, Wiki Answers Wikinut Writerly,

Link: https://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/2019/03/087-bware-of-w-beginning-writers.html 

  

About the Author P. S. Remesh Chandran: 

02. Author Profile of P S Remesh Chandran by Sahyadri Archives.

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan: The Intelligent Picture Book. Born and brought up in the beautiful village of Nanniyode in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Trivandrum, in Kerala. Father British Council trained English teacher and Mother University educated. Matriculation with distinction and Pre Degree Studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship. Discontinued Diploma studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single. 

Author of several books in English and in Malayalam, mostly poetical collections, fiction, non fiction and political treatises, including Ulsava Lahari, Darsana Deepthi, Kaalam Jaalakavaathilil, Ilakozhiyum Kaadukalil Puzhayozhukunnu, Thirike Vilikkuka, Oru Thulli Velicham, Aaspathri Jalakam, Vaidooryam, Manal, Jalaja Padma Raaji, Maavoyeppoleyaakaan Entheluppam!, The Last Bird From The Golden Age Of Ghazals, Doctors Politicians Bureaucrats People And Private Practice, E-Health Implications And Medical Data Theft, Did A Data Mining Giant Take Over India?, Will Dog Lovers Kill The World?, Is There Patience And Room For One More Reactor?, and Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book. 

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSRemeshChandra 

You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos
Blog: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/
Site: https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/
E-Mail: bloombookstvm@gmail.com
 
Post: P. S. Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum, Padmalayam, Nanniyode, Pacha Post, Trivandrum- 695562, Kerala State, South India.



086. Swallow's Solitude. Poem By P S Remesh Chandran

086. 

Swallow's Solitude. Poem By P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum



01. Article Title Image By Masy. Graphics: Adobe SP.

First published: 26 March 2019 

SWALLOW'S SOLITUDE

P S Remesh Chandran

The hillocks where the village folk
Assembled for a fun-
There then at length dissected all
Subjects under the sun.

The roadside shop, where middle age men
Debated and did part;
Through various ways homeward they trod,
Next morning to restart.

Stooped by their golden burdens, swaying
Paddy fields lush lay
Stretching far, far to the edge of river
Beneath the mountain crag.

Tweeting sweet music to the squirrels
And the swarms of bees
Ransacking plantain groves for honey,
Sat high those nightingales.

Before the crows and cocks in morn
Raise loud their lofty horn,
Before the dews of night from trees
Fall down before the breeze,

Beside the rattling reeds alone I
Sat there satisfied;
Reflects in crystal-clear brook
A swallow’s solitude.


Bloom Books Channel has a video of this song.

02. Video Title Image By Masy. Graphics: Adobe SP.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPrErCHTrgY

Tags:
English Poems Songs, Free Student Notes, Indian English Poets, Literary Articles Essays Reviews Poems, Nature Poems, Philosophical Poems, Poem Reviews Notes Appreciations, P S Remesh Chandran, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, Swallow’s Solitude,

Article Link: https://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/2019/03/086-swallows-solitude-poem-by-p-s.html 



About the Author P. S. Remesh Chandran: 

03. Author Profile of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives.

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan: The Intelligent Picture Book. Born and brought up in the beautiful village of Nanniyode in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Trivandrum, in Kerala. Father British Council trained English teacher and Mother University educated. Matriculation with distinction and Pre Degree Studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship. Discontinued Diploma studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single. 

Author of several books in English and in Malayalam, mostly poetical collections, fiction, non fiction and political treatises, including Ulsava Lahari, Darsana Deepthi, Kaalam Jaalakavaathilil, Ilakozhiyum Kaadukalil Puzhayozhukunnu, Thirike Vilikkuka, Oru Thulli Velicham, Aaspathri Jalakam, Vaidooryam, Manal, Jalaja Padma Raaji, Maavoyeppoleyaakaan Entheluppam!, The Last Bird From The Golden Age Of Ghazals, Doctors Politicians Bureaucrats People And Private Practice, E-Health Implications And Medical Data Theft, Did A Data Mining Giant Take Over India?, Will Dog Lovers Kill The World?, Is There Patience And Room For One More Reactor?, and Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book. 

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSRemeshChandra 

You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos
Blog: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/
Site: https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/
E-Mail: bloombookstvm@gmail.com
 
Post: P. S. Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum, Padmalayam, Nanniyode, Pacha Post, Trivandrum- 695562, Kerala State, South India.





085. Today I Had A Strange Experience. Poem By P S Remesh Chandran


085. 

Today I Had A Strange Experience. Poem By P S Remesh Chandran
  
Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum
 

01. Article Title Image 01 By Harli Marten. Graphics: Adobe SP.

 
First published: 2013

I regularly take part in discussions in a famous social site of experts and write in two special groups- Poetry and Literature, and Language, Literature & Criticism. A discussion on ‘Whether Poetry Has To Keep Form' became heated and I had to remain at the receiving end of severe but polished criticism for some of my views insisting on metrical form in poetry.


One criticism went: ‘No offense, but it is easy to make generalizations about things you have little or no hands-on experience with. Reading poetry is very different from writing it. How much poetry have you actually written (or tried to write)?’


Another criticism even went to asking me at last: ‘You do not seem to have understood the mechanics of poetry like many of us; have you ever read a poem or at least tried to write one?’


I decided to write my reply to these criticisms in the poetical form and invited other participant members also to reply in kind, i.e., by writing what they have to say not in prose but in poetry and continue the discussion. This poem was my first and original reply to them.

Once Malayalam poets wrote letters to each other in poetry and some even conversed in poetry.

 
In the Malayalam literature in my native land Kerala, there has been a long history and tradition of poets writing letters to each other in poetical form which though lessened the importance of prose for a time did indeed made poetry popular during that time, creating a rich branch of literature on its own. Many even conversed in poetry. Almost all Indian languages have this special branch of literature which became very interesting and rich through the years and is now a prominent feature of Indian literature. This trend gradually died out anyway.


02. Article Title Image 02 By Harli Marten. Graphics: Adobe SP
 
Today I Had A Strange Experience

P S Remesh Chandran

Today I had a strange experience,
Not in this group but in another group.


‘Poetry and Lit′rature' it is not,
In ‘Written or Revealed Poetry' thread.

Asked, have I written poems in my life?
I found it fit to answer it this way:

I'm writing this in reply to a miss,
I have never written poems in my life.

Have wondered where these poems all come from,
From human intellect or nature's store,

To be picked up at moments of revelation;
Or synthesized in rotten human brain!

I was inspired to write these wicked lines,
By those whose verses written were in sand.

Let us debate poetry in poems,
I hope she'll someday answer me in kind.

I ′am not doing anything again,
But asking questions all have answers for.

I have my answers, you can have yours,
This not an illiterate arena,

Where someone asks questions and another from,
Some academic circle answers them.

Some anxious are, to questions throw around,
Some eagerly waits there to answer them;

This not such school or college where one can,
En′tertain answers not from others too.

I know I'm Alexander Pope's close kin,
I stop here, to read Temple of Fame again.



03. Article Title Image 03 By Harli Marten. Graphics: Adobe SP

Tags:
  Discussion Poems, English Poems, Free Student Notes, Indian English Poets, Literary Articles Essays Reviews Poems, Metrical Form In Poetry, Philosophical Poems, Poem Reviews Notes Appreciations, P S Remesh Chandran, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, Today I Had A Strange Experience,

Link: https://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/2019/03/085-today-i-had-strange-experience-poem.html 


About the Author P. S. Remesh Chandran: 

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan: The Intelligent Picture Book. Born and brought up in the beautiful village of Nanniyode in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Trivandrum, in Kerala. Father British Council trained English teacher and Mother University educated. Matriculation with distinction and Pre Degree Studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship. Discontinued Diploma studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single. 

Author of several books in English and in Malayalam, mostly poetical collections, fiction, non fiction and political treatises, including Ulsava Lahari, Darsana Deepthi, Kaalam Jaalakavaathilil, Ilakozhiyum Kaadukalil Puzhayozhukunnu, Thirike Vilikkuka, Oru Thulli Velicham, Aaspathri Jalakam, Vaidooryam, Manal, Jalaja Padma Raaji, Maavoyeppoleyaakaan Entheluppam!, The Last Bird From The Golden Age Of Ghazals, Doctors Politicians Bureaucrats People And Private Practice, E-Health Implications And Medical Data Theft, Did A Data Mining Giant Take Over India?, Will Dog Lovers Kill The World?, Is There Patience And Room For One More Reactor?, and Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book. 

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSRemeshChandra 

You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos
Blog: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/
Site: https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/
E-Mail: bloombookstvm@gmail.com
 
Post: P. S. Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum, Padmalayam, Nanniyode, Pacha Post, Trivandrum- 695562, Kerala State, South India.