Angelee Deodhar

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Dr. Angelee Deodhar

Angelee Deodhar
Read the Profile in the WHA, 2001

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Haiku: An Indian Perspective
by Dr. Angelee Deodhar

India , with eighteen officially recognized languages, uses English as an additional official language. The Indo-Aryan languages evolved from Sanskrit. Hindi is the official language of the Government of India, and is also the official language of six states. Hindi has several dialects.

Haiku has not gained popularity in India for several reasons. Although the haiku poem was known to poets as far back as the beginning of the twentieth century it did not become popular and the spread of Haiku poetry was sporadic. The Indian Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, who wrote eloquently about Japanese culture and literary heritage. He was aware of the haiku poem and his collection of haiku like poems 'Fireflies' was published in English and Bengali. In 1916 the other national poet - Subramania Bharati wrote a long under the title -Japaniyat Kavitai (Japanese poetry) which was a lengthy critical appraisal of haiku where Bharati examined at length the opinion on haiku poems expressed by a Japanese poet, Yone Noguchi.

A three day seminar on 'Impact of Haiku in Indian literature' was held at the Institute of Asian Studies based in Chennai (Madras) from 29th-31st of March 2000. Several poets from India and Japan participated in this seminar but till now the abstracts of papers presented there are still not available.

The pioneer of haiku is India's first Japanese scholar Prof. Satyabhushan Verma - whose first translation of Japanese haiku into Hindi - 'Japani Kavitaian' was published in 1977. In 1981 Prof. Verma started a newsletter in Hindi called 'Haiku'. This was in the form of an aerogramme. This publication was discontinued in 1989. Prof. Satya Bhushan Verma, a professor emeritus of Jawaharlal Nehru University, was chosen for the Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Prize in 2002 . He shared the one million yen prize with an American poet - Cor van den Heuvel.

The second Indian whose efforts are to be commended is Prof. B.S. Aggarwala who publishes a Hindi quarterly journal called 'Haiku Bharati', started in 1998 and continuing till today. There are about 300 poets writing in their native mother tongues associated with this quarterly Hindi journal. Some haiku are translated from the original into Hindi, and then published. Prof. Aggarwala, the author of several books in Hindi is currently working on a history of haiku in Hindi.

English language haiku in India is slowly finding a foothold and there are quite a few haijin writing in English, but most of these poets' haiku is being published abroad. Some poets are bilingual or multilingual but haiku written in one language does not get easily assimilated into another.

One sees every recognized form of the English poem taught in schools all over India, but haiku is not taught.

Unfortunately, India does not have any formal haiku association or club. There are some Indian poetry magazines in which haiku are being published in English; however the Indian haiku scene is still far from satisfactory and needs all the help it can get. Books about haiku are still almost non existent and difficult to obtain. Unless haiku is introduced into the schools it will not gain the attention it deserves. The language for the study of haiku in India will have to be English, so that Indian poets can communicate and share h aiku with poets worldwide.

© Angelee Deodhar


in the monastery
rising above the plainchant
a warbler's half note

Haiku Headlines #133 APR 1999 (USA)

in the silence
of the zendo
my stomach growls

Frogpong XXI:2, 1998 (USA)

Quoted from Haijin's Magazine Sumaúma , with more haiku.


Second Haiku Pacific Rim International Conference 2004: A Report
Angelee Deodhar, Evergreen Haiku 環太平洋国際俳句大会

Evergreen Vol. XIII No. 3 March. 9, 2002: Leather External LINK

More external LINKs
Computer Haiga

Just a Bridge . . .
An Interview by Robert D. Wilson
Simply Haiku Winter 2006

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sharing an umbrella
your wet left shoulder
my right one

by Angelee Deodhar (Chandigarh)
Haiku from India - Terebess Asia Online (TAO)


Yadi koi pooche: If someone asks
Haiku by Shiki, translated by Angelee Deodhar
Book Reviews


Yuzuru Miura's Haiku Classics: A Master's Selection
Translated into Hindi by Angelee Deodhar
Charles E. Tuttle Inc., Japan, 2006


A Tribute to Ogura Hyakunin Issshu
translated by Dr Angelee Deodhar

> This historically important piece of work bringing Japanese classical
> poetry to Hindi readers will remain a milestone in the field of Indian
> literature; Dr Angelee Deopdhar deserves high commendation for this
> valuable contribution to the Haiku/Tanka world.I look at this work
> from two distinct view points: One about the work process, author's
> efforts, importance to the Hindi literary field and Second from the
> point of poetic value of the book.

> The first part of the work has no parallel in Indian languages where a
> writer attains the capacity to render the foreign language poetry in
> Hindi, publishes a book by spending money gifted to her by her aunt,
> and distributes it to all free of cost. It is indeed a service to the
> Hindi Literature. The entire episode is imbued with devotion and
> commitment to poetry. The quality of translation, according to
> experts is superb .
> My wife feels the translation is even better than the
> original as appearing in English language. I think there cannot be
> greater compliment to her work than this feeling. One only wishes to
> know more about the life of the author.

Prof NK Singh, continued HERE
quote from
Tanka Fields


Vernal equinox -
the City Beautiful's roundabouts
resplendent with flowers

Chandigarh, 2013


. WKD : Contributions by Angelee Deodhar .

BACK TO - Haiku in India


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Deodhar, Angelee, editor & translator. Indian Haiku.

A bilingual anthology of Haiku by 105 Poets from India.

Chandigarh, India: privately printed, 2008

stars adrift
in the chill of night
the last diary entry

—Angelee Deodhar

Read a report here: Wordfield’s Haikai Pub