Rebellious, ironic, impassioned, penetrating. These poems place the speaker in a crisis in which culture is at a cross-roads with consciousness. With Tagorean and Whitmanesque grace, Betageri's poems take the inner journey in their yearning for the natural and for the spiritual self.
Ankur Betageri's poems are a spirited defense of life, a celebration of our everyday being with all its vexing concerns and fleeting joys. They faithfully record the deep inner voice of a man eager to survive with freedom, beauty and dignity and dive straight into the core of our experience to come up with the secrets of our being on earth. Ankur's range is wide, sweep all-embracing and his treatment of his encounter with himself profoundly lyrical. These poems are ultimately meditations on existence, summated words of a dispersed life/ glowing with the current meaning of the flow.' They vow 'to rescue from the rot the precious inner feeling' and to 'hug the fevered hearts and speak for all those still stammering.' Even while the poet seldom deals directly with history, history and evolution remain constant undercurrents in this enchanted universe of men, women, trees, birds and stones, and the poet's art resembles 'the tatters of the sky, impeccable in the stitches of embroidery' or 'jacaranda blooms, sun-beam injected'.
I was truly delighted on reading your poems. I believe that a good poem is one that is not entirely lost when it is paraphrased. Your poetry is unpretentious and can manage several moods and can even be witty. This is in the A K Ramanujan line. The tone of each poem varies and conveys, with a lightness of touch, serious concerns.
About the Author
Ankur Betageri (b. 1983) is a poet, short fiction writer and visual artist based in New Delhi. His published works include a collection of short fiction, Bhog and Other Stories (2010); a collection of short fiction in Kannada, Malavika mattu Itara Kathegalu (2011); and two collections of poetry in Kannada, Hidida Usiru (2004) and Idara Hesaru (2006). His poetry has been translated into Hindi (Basant Badal Deta Hai Muhavre, 2011), Bengali and Korean. Ankur has participated as guest writer at various national and international literature festivals, including The III International Delphic Games (2009) at Jeju, South Korea, and Lit Up Writers Festival (2010) at Singapore.
As a visual artist Ankur has exhibited his photographs at various places, including ICCR, Delhi (2012); St Stephens College, Delhi (2012); and Delhi University (2011). In 2012, he founded the avant-garde public arts and social activist platform, Hulchul, advocating the use of Public Space (like roadside walls, public washrooms, etc.) and New Media for the dissemination, and democratization, of art and poetry.
Ankur holds Masters degrees in Clinical Psychology and English, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Philosophy from IIT Delhi. He is assistant editor of Sahitya Akademis literary journal, Indian Literature.