Sunday, 24 March 2013

K. Narayan Chandran on American Poetry

On Monday (18/03/2013), K. Narayan Chandran, a professor from the Department of English, UoH, gave a lecture on American Poetry. While the lecture focussed on poetry and how it is to be used in a classroom context, some statements that he made seemed pretty profound, and so, I thought I shall quote him here:

1. “Poets are not wolves. They don’t run in packs.”
2. “Poetry says more without meaning to.”
3. “Poetry is about itself most of the time”
4. “A poem really begins to take life in memory.”
5. “All poetry makes for philosophy at higher levels.”
6. “If you repeat, you should build on repetition.”
      7. “Our language is a storehouse of clich├ęs.”

He also took a few quotes from others: 

Walt Whitman- “To have great poets there have to be great audiences too.”
Sven Birkerts- “Language is the soul’s ozone layer. We thin it at our peril.”
Anais Nin- “We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are”
Stanley Cavell- “Our capacity to understand equals our capacity to misunderstand.”

Monday, 11 March 2013

Bande Acche Hain!

Have any of you seen the new ICICI health insurance ad? After watching that ad repeatedly appearing on my facebook wall, I wondered whether I was the only one who had issues with the advertisement. It states that for the 'First time in history- a good ad about men- Must watch'. I agree that every ad usually has a target audience. In the case of health insurance, they seem to have chosen to display the man as the 'protector' of the household, targeting these people for their campaign. And I have to ask why. Are there not single women wage earners, women who take care of the household as well? Why is it necessary for the advertisement to display the woman as somebody who has to be cocooned? This is seen, for instance, in the last image where the man crosses to the side of the traffic, or the typical depiction of a wedding when the daughter leaves the father's house only to be taken care of by the husband!!! All in all, while most people seem to be spawning over this ad, I have not understood why. A depiction of the niceness of men is also in how they treat women as equals rather than as somebody who has to be just taken care of. What I do not get is how even some women see this as a lovely ad, when what it actually expresses is a denigration of their individuality to a certain extent. Okay, my rant for the day is over!!!