Kritya 2012, An International Festival of Poetry, Begins at Thiruvananthapuram

Poems need not be the same old broken lines with carefully placed punctuation marks and craftily woven words, which, rather than create an interest in readers, often leave them confused, Odveig Klyve, a poet from Norway, says.

For this poet and film maker, poetry could be anything, anywhere, she told The Hindu on the sidelines of Kritya 2012, a three-day international festival of poetry which began at the Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram city on Monday. Literally so, her poems were displayed at places such as railway stations, and airports using display boards and backed by powerful photographs that rarely go unnoticed.

At Kritya, Ms. Klyve had created a photo-poetry exhibition through her project titled ‘Geopoeticon.’ Selected poems of various poets from around the world found visual representation through the 15 sets of framed, colourful photographs. According to Ms. Klyve, these poems spoke through the images, thereby creating a lasting impression on the viewers.

“The idea is to create a room for conversation because poetry can take any form, be it through images or music. Moreover, poetry has many facets, most of which still remain unexplored,” she said.

She often got phone calls from people, who, seeing her poems at railway stations, wanted to share their interpretations of the picture and the poem. “No one has the time to read poems in detail to analyse it. This was a fast-moving world and often one needed to enter straight into the heart than knocking at its doors. There may be only two lines in a poem but when accompanied by a strong visual, the impact created on the viewer was tremendous,” she said.

Experimenting further, she also began making short films which made use of international contemporary poems as the main narrative element. As many as 12 such films which found their way into various international poetry festivals would be screened at this festival. The films opened up a world of visual poetry in reels. Photo-poetry and poetry films could revive in the younger generation an interest in this art form, she said.

Rati Saxena, director of Kritya 2012,  said that this year, the festival is dedicated to Rabindranath Tagore. “Additional Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar will be holding an exhibition of his paintings based on Tagore’s Gitanjali, artist B.D. Dethan will let his paintbrush flow to the lines of Tagore’s poem Stray Birds. The verses have been translated into Malayalam by former Chief Secretary of Kerala, Lizzie Jacob, an artist and writer herself. Taking cue from Tagore’s The Gardener, poems on peace will be one of the highlights of the festival.”

“There are films on poetry, in which movies that interpret poetry through the camera lens will be screened. Gitanjali Rao’s poetic work will be screened and also films based on poetry like those by Kari Klyve Gulbrandsen and Odveig Klyve respectively.

Kunjedathi, a short film based on ONV Kurup’s poem of the same name, by Prasad Nooranad, will be shown at 7 p.m. on January 17. Poetry recitals to the accompaniment of instrumental music are something to look forward to.”

Started in 2005 as a national poetry festival in Kerala, the Kritya festival turned international in 2007. Says Rati: “The first international festival was held in Kerala.” Essentially a nomadic festival, the festival has since travelled to Punjab and Mysore, to name a few States, before returning to Kerala once again.

As in previous editions of the festival, Kritya 2012 will have both Indian and international poets in attendance. “There are 20 international poets, 20 national poets, and 20 local poets. Our idea is to promote all kinds of poetry in different language, and the Kritya poetry festival provides poets a platform to meet and interact with poets from different backgrounds, and a place for them to showcase their work.” A major highlight of the festival, says Rati, is the fact that they have translated each and every poem that will be presented at the festival. “There must be around 200 poems.These translated poems will be available as books at the fete. The books have been published by Kerala Sahithya Academy.”

News Sourced from “The Hindu”

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