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The IUP Journal of English Studies :
Contemporary Eliotian Indian-English Poet P C K Prem
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Prem the poet is perturbed and tossed in turbulence. Almost all the poems are about the sordid human condition in the modern age where cultures of the hoary times have been undergoing intense and not good change. Flirt, frigid, uncertain are the key words applicable almost everywhere in the milieu, becoming desperately the same everywhere. Efforts at peacemaking are always half-hearted and feckless. Solutions arrived at are concocted for a brief living. Men are lonely, and each wants to peel off the armor of the other. Here is a stiff-necked and straight-backed conglomeration of people. Rock and pillar edicts of long forgotten eras had something to talk about men and matters and things done or undone. They are best forgotten, for they may hurt modernity. The poet talks of man who keeps off, wants to be a spectator or a compere with no great responsibility. The poet tries to comfort man from within. “As I Fly” speaks of knowledge and not of wisdom even indirectly. The poet thinks of the wisest of the wise and ancient works about Krishna, Hanuman, Aranyakas, and Samhitas. “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold,” a poet said earlier. Eliotian poets are worried that the man half dead is breathing hard. He observes with his mind’s eye that those who died yesterday are living today, if only to be quoted or masqueraded as. This is dangerous, not merely frightful, for the souls seeking good bodies could not be born again. Prem’s poetry is about perplexities, a deep and healthy sense of values, and the objectives and values compel the poet to look around knowing what is inward for the righteous. Cerebration leads him to the end of the tunnel, opening into bleak darkness. He finds learning and knowledge only as fossils. Knowledge and wisdom envisaged and shown in our epics and scriptures are stones hardened now.

 
 
 

P C K Prem has carved a niche for himself in the Parthenon of Indian English Literature as a poet, fiction writer, and a literary critic of eminence. Modern culture makes man a mannequin, a figure in wax with feet of clay. There is no straightforward thinking in the powers vested with the murkiest of black money and moral turpitude. The fumes of cerebration bother, no wonder, a morality-sensitive intellectual. He is adored as an Eliotian because like that twentieth century poet, Prem is drawn to religion, mythology, and episodic epic tales demonstrated in his writings. The Mahabharata allures and fascinates him.

The agony of the right-minded was found in the vyakulata of Sage Vedvyasa, who had to write the eighteen puranas. The poet in Prem is so perturbed that he is agonized and tossed in turbulence. Value systems are pooh-poohed and the old rectitude with honesty is considered abysmal stupidity. The evolution of deeper thought gives expression of mal du siècle, the malady of the century. He titled his book “Of This Age and Obscurity and Other Poems,” the fourth of his collections of poetry (Prem 2011). In this collection, toward the end, there is a poem, “True Memoirs.” Most of the poems are about the sordid human condition in the modern age where cultures of the hoary times have been undergoing intense, debilitated, and still debilitating change.

 
 

Journal of English Studies ,stiff-necked and straight-backed conglomeration of people, Rock and pillar edicts, perturbed and tossed in turbulence.