Poetry is the purest form of literature, crystalising thoughts and emotions into words. Recognising the beauty of poetry and its importance, Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest has for the last many years named an eminent Poet Laureate at the Festival.
The Tata Literature Live! Poet Laureate this year is Gieve Patel, one of India’s best regarded poets. Gieve Patel is a multi-faceted person. He is a well regarded play-wright, painter, sculptor, physician and teacher. He is also a mentor to later generations of poets. His poems also reflect his prescient concern for the environment, much before it became a subject of universal concern. In the depth and sweep of his life, talents and achievements across so many fields, he perfectly represents the essence of the Tata Literature Live! Litfest, where the best of language and writing in a variety of other subjects is presented alongside literature. He speaks to Sampurna Chattarji about his body of work, the relevance of poetic words in today’s age, and the ultimate joy of poetry.
Gieve Patel has published three books of poetry: ‘Poems’ (Nissim Ezekiel, Bombay, 1966); ‘How Do You Withstand, Body’ (Clearing House, Bombay, 1976); and ‘Mirrored, Mirroring’ (Oxford University Press, Madras, 1991).