ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Cut in Jade

Bringing out little magazines of verse in English is inevitably an uphill task, as the experience of Poetry Chain reveals.

Gopikrishnan Kottoor (gopikottoor@gmail.com), a senior banker at the RBI, is an award-winning poet.

It is with a certain nostalgia that I cherish the thoughts of the day of the first issue of Poetry Chain – way back in 1997. Watching the two sheets of white A4 paper come out of the copier machine buttered with lines of verse and exuding the warmth of new-born bread, delighted my eyes. The smell of black ink sweltering the pages still reminds me of first rain drying upon parched earth, evoking a mood for lovemaking.

I mailed the first copy to the poet Jayanta Mahapatra (or “Dada”, as he wished to be called), who had just sent me a congratulatory message saying I had won the year’s All India Poetry Prize-II and that he had been part of the jury. In many dedicatory ways, Jayanta was my inspiration to launch a poetry journal. It never failed to fascinate me how deeply involved he was with Chandrabhaga, the little magazine of poetry in English that he brought out from Cuttack, Odisha, writing down himself the postal addresses of subscribers and contributors in his immaculate handwriting, which reminds us of Ted Hughes’ “Thought-Fox” “setting neat prints into the snow”.

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