Tryst with Metz


His Unbidden Angel, a volume of poems from the grief-cycle The Reply of the Tongues, which he dedicated to his late wife, earned Robin Metz the Rainer Maria Rilke International Poetry Prize in 2000. It was also selected as one of the two recommendations by the (Clinton)

White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Health.

It was not surprisingly a treat for those who had gathered at the poetry recitation programme with Metz organised by White Lotus Book Shop at the Everest Book Shop, Babermahal Revisited on August 24.

A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Metz presently is Philip Sidney Post Professor of English and Director of Programme in Creative Writing at Knox College, Illinois. He has given performance-readings of his work in 16 different countries, and is also much involved in theatres, having also founded one theatre in Chicago.

At the poetry recitation, Metz read out his two previous poems composed on Africa and the Balkans, and his most recent one on Nepal. This was followed by a poetry recitation by around 15 of our poets, including noted poet Kali Prasad Rizal, both in Nepali and English.

“I am really moved in my heart,” Metz expressed after intently listening and getting the feel of the poems.

Down-to-earth and affable, Metz is a strong believer in the power of poetry to heal distressed hearts. He shared, “I do go to hospitals, orphanages, prisons, and speak to groups of widows and widowers.”

A senior consultant and designated nominator for Nobel Prize in Literature at Caxton Club of Chicago, Metz writes in what he terms “bio-formalism”.

“I feel poem comes from actual life of the writer, his/her personal and commonly shared biology, and the environment. There is a biological relation between all elements of work of art and the ecosystem. I also focus on the visual form in my poems, apart from the sound and meaning,” he explained.

Starting from 1958, Metz has written more than 90 individual works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry and has more works forthcoming. He will be giving readings at various places, visit universities, give talks on American literature, among others.