Dystopia In Manipuri Poetry

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Introduction Thangjam Ibopishak, a SahityaAkademi winner (1997), is a well-known modern Manipuri poet. His poetry breaks sharply off his predecessors in theme and style. Manipuri poets before him were self-absorbed with what is beautiful, natural, fantastic and ornamental language. He is occupied with the ugly, the real and the ordinary language. His realistic poetry is satirical, anti-romantic and anti-ideal. He uses free open lyrical form and surrealistic images to show anxieties and discontent of existence, society and its materialistic obsession minus human values. He never allows himself the luxury of believing in a beautiful past or a better future. He dumps on the reader one horrible image after another to show that the world we are living is bleak without any promise of redemption. He barely lets himself waver from the pestering wound of the present. He lives with and talks about it without any desire to escape from it. His poetry covers over four decades and his poems articulate different moments and concerns of the turbulent times which Manipur has been going through since independence. A pattern of dystopian sensibility runs through all his poetry collections. As they talk about the troubled world he is located in, his poetic articulation features as a social criticism also.

Dystopia: A Poet’s Vision
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