(Poetry Compitition for General)

Compititions : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Compititions - 6

Award Winning Poems

All-India Poetry Competition

Organized in collaboration with the

British Council, India

The Poetry Society in collaboration with the British Council, India  organsed nine  All-India Poetry Competitions  since 1988.  Thousands of poets have participated in these competitions.  Nine volumes of short listed poems were published under the series  POETRY INDIA.  The following are the names of the award-winners:
Sixth National Poetry Competition :  1995

Ms. Jo Shapcott, well-known British poet was the chairperson of the panel of judges. Dr. J.P. Das, Dr. Eunice de Souza, Mr. K. Satchitanandan, and Mrs. Imtiaz Dharkar were the member of panel. Dr. Richard Walker, First Secretary (Cultural Affairs) and Dr. Rajni Badlani, English Studies Officer of the British Council Division, and Mr. H.K. Kaul, Secretary-General, The Poetry Society (India), were the ex-official members of the panel of judges.

The Awards

First Prize

Tabish Khair  for the poem   Birds of North Europe

Commendation Prizes

1.                  Gopi Krishnan Kottoor  for the poem  The Coffin Maker

2.                   Smita Agarwal  for the poem A Grass Windowís Prayer

3.                  C.P. Surendran  for the poem  Movie

4.                  Lalitha Biswas for the poem  Anything But the Truth

5.                  Anthoney Nag for the poem Salvation

Award Winning Poems


Twenty-four years in different European cities and he had not lost

His surprise at how birds stopped at the threshold

Of their houses. Never

Flying into rooms, to be decapitated by fan-blades or carefully

Herded through open windows to another life, never

Building on this lampshade

Or on some forgotten, cool cornerbeam where droppings and straw

Would be tolerated until the fateful day hatched

And the world was fragile

Shell, feathers, a conspiratorial rustle of wings above and of

An intrigued girl below. Even the birds in their neat towns

Knew their place. They

Did not intrude into private spheres. demanding to be overlooked

Or worshipped. They did not consider houses simply

Exotic trees or hollowed

Hills. Not being particularly learned, he did not know the thread

Of fear that knots the wild to the willed, not

Being well-read, he

Did not remember the history behind their old and geometrical

Gardens, could not recall a time when the English

Parliament had killed a bill,

Shocked by a jackdawís flight across the room. He simply marked

The absence of uncaged birds in their homes. He thought

It was strange.
THE COFFIN MAKER  by Gopi Krishnan Kottoor

The coffin maker is a happy man now.

More and more orders keep coming in.

Soon heíll able to marry off

his daughters who have just attained puberty

and keep pretty Angela happy

on condoms strawberry flavoured an chocolate ice.

Of late he painted his house bright chrysanthemum red

ordered teakwood beds and never cared a damn

what the neighbours said. Atop his showroom

the great catlights came on

and his name glowed in the dark

whenever passing lights hit it.

Now heís not wondering any more,

he knows heís the best in town.

What about air-conditioning? That would lengthen

the life of coffins. Now heís struck with a bright new idea

that would revolutionise coffin making for

all time. Electronic remote-controlled polymer coffins

with micro chips and inbuilt flash units

that brought home to your PC screen

your dear dear dear departed along with uptodate

information on the state of decomposition

that you could activate or slow down

much like a video-game. An idea he knew would catch on like

wild fire making him a billionaire overnight.

Now whenever he kneels down with Angela

to pray,

he can only think of this

no one else can help him raise such funds

so hi-tech

which of course secretly meant

more and more accidents, causalities, fatalities

of course work was worship, it didnít matter what you did

you just had to put in your best, there could be no wrong asking

and for all this (if his dream came true)

he would keep his wood

and bury his god

in a coffin of gold.

A GRASS WINDOWíS PRAYER  by  Smita Agarwal

Tall hill speckled with pine,

The air scented. Again I

Undertake the annual ascent up

The spiralling way to your temple.

It is Navaratra. The goddess is

A decked out bride. I go to

Offer her a red scarf trimmed

With gold lace. Just-married girls

Spill out of taxis and buses. Theyíre

On their visit to Surkhanda

With their spouses. The lucky ones

Shall meet their kin and shop

At the fair. Meanwhile, I shall wind

A red and gold thread round the peepul;

Tie tiny brass bells to its outstretched

Arms, bells that shall peal out my

Prayers the unseen gods that look askance

At my bare wrists, my forehead clear

Of the sacramental dot, in the parting in

My hair a quiet, empty street. Devi-Ma,

I come to deepen, your red with my

Absence of colour. Keep him safe,

He who is alone at his outpost

Battling shadows and sounds

May he win the war he set out for.

"Itís the truth Iím telling you," the gossip fired at my back.

"The truth, the truth, but donít tell anyone."

MOVIE  by  C.P. Surendran

Hands crossed, we watch

A Japanese movie

With different eyes, but

Conscious of each image

Quivering like an arrow

In our heart. This has been

A difficult love

For the while it lasted,

Not unlike a dream

In a strange language.

What we feel is not what

We speak. And in translation

We lose, just like these

Subtitles, but the images remain:

Like great paintings

With incomprehensible captions.

Who knows, this night may be

Our last. On the screen the lovers

Cry separately, our cheeks

Wet with their tears.
ANYTHING BUT THE TRUTH  by  Lalitha Biswas

"Donít tell me anyone I told you

but Mrs. T turns into a cat at the stroke of one

and jumps on unwary rats.

Then drags herself home before the sun

throws light on the truth."

Nodding disbelief one listens, playing snake to the old gossipís charmer.

"There are signs," said she, curling her lip knowingly.

"Watch her eyes, they donít blink.

And not a single mouse in her yard!

Thatís proof, donít you think?"

Her cat influence creeps with long shadows in my rooms.

This is nothing but the truth Iím telling you,

not a word to anyone,

But Mrs. Tís dark magic plays havoc with my son.

He shuffles his feet, slumps

and failed his typing class,

my bunions hurt, my plants are dying,

my cakes refuse to rise.

My husbandís hemorrhoids broke their dam

heís reduced to half his size.

Our paper never arrives on time, my toiletís sprung a leak,

and its all because of that damned cat freak.

"Ask the lady in number seven,

she saw Mrs. T turn into a cat

with her German binoculars."

I politely removed myself from her grasp,

a little dazed by events
SALVATION by Anthoney Nag

I want salvation

For my night

Which is laid with stones

Cold to walk on

And hot to touch.

I want the night

To grow darker,

Thicker like cowís milk

Trickling down

On Thebal plains.

I want the nocturnal beasts

To cook their heads

For Christmas dinner.

I want the owl

And crescent moon to marry

And devour each other.

May salvation swallow

Beasts, blindness, moon, madness-all.

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