What I have collected in the volume here as my latest offering is to give shape to my thoughts as experienced over a long period of living my life against so many odds.
After I finished writing my autobiography I imagined I had expressed all my thoughts or nuances of my feelings in Tamil prose. Though many of my Tamil literary acquaintances and friends praised generously my prose style and my expositions of my beliefs, philosophies and convictions, there was this feeling inside me: I haven’t told all I wanted to say! Not in a manner I wanted to express my inner self. Tamil is a classical language and the current style of writing Tamil prose, in my opinion, is not well advanced by international standards as to express all thoughts in a subtle and sophisticated style. I had listed the chapters of the Twentieth Century Poetry just to give an idea of the scope of the poetical universe the English reading public is acquainted with and what have we got in Tamil poetry today?
In my poems you could see what I would call, a new phenomenon, a totally a new experience, a new personality, born of the Tamil tradition and yet so totally alien, a new upbringing, a new set of value-system that struggles to integrate with the quintessential Dravidian past, Dravidian cosmopolitanism, the world view and much else of an elevated universal value paradigm. My totality of experiences and thoughts, much hard realities, the perversities of men and life, the subtle and not so subtle ironies, the metaphysical doubts and certainties and very little the traditional poetical themes! Yes, there is too much of skepticisms, too much of realisms and too much of material world in my perceptions. I can’t pretend to be otherwise! I am here! In all their lines, in every word here! Such is my personality, mix of things, pessimism and optimism, hopes and fears, ideals and realities….
So, I ask my fellow Tamils: writers and the general readers. Can we make this century Tamils’ resurgence? No answer! Everyone is bewildered!
As far as I am concerned, I am not frightened! But I would be very concerned about the state of deterioration in Tamil writing, the downfall of quality magazines and quality journalism itself. We all have stakes in these emerging realities.
All these thoughts, I want to share with my fellow Tamilians, creative writers and academic scholars. In my individual capacity I had taken some steps and would do everything within my capacity to promote quality Tamil literature and writing.
So, Tamil poetry too faces a critical barrier to emerge into a high class literary pursuit. Poets don’t have that elevated sense of superior feeling as I see. There is much overlapping of cheap party politics with true and serious literary pursuits! A peculiar Tamil literary disease, it seems!
Poetry promotion is a sign of any civilized society. In England there is a National Poetry Society, many private trusts, the government gives funds for poetry promotion.
We need special promotion policies for poetry and poets. Poetry is obviously thriving in Tamil, as I see the shelf-full of poetry volumes in big bookshops. They have to be made known to non-Tamil readers through good translations.