‘Post-quake poetry’ with music and photography


Timro Pyaas Bokera

Ma Bakhraharu Sangai Daudinchhu

Yetauta Charaitira Pahaad Uklinchhu

Besi Jharchhu

Jharanamuni Uvinchhu

Timilai Samjidai

These lines reflect the plight of the wife of a migrant worker who remembers her husband each and every moment. Written in English by poet-diplomat Abhay K and translated into Nepali by Kishore Nepal, the poem Bipreshan Pathauneki Patni and similar other poems from Abhay’s collection of poetry Jatra were recited during an event ‘An Evening of Heritage Poetry with Poet-Diplomat Abhay K’ at Theatre Village, Lazimpat on July 17.

When Abhay was reciting his poem Pashupatinath — describing the Pashupati and Bagmati River — Deependra Bajracharya’s photographs accompanied his poetry. Images of devotees queuing up to worship the deity and scattering satbij (seven varieties of grains) were displayed in the background.

Concrete buildings and old houses devastated by earthquake in and around the Valley and other photos relevant to the poems were displayed during the recitation.

This ensemble was further supported by the music of Jason Kunwar. The musician created apt music via different traditional musical instruments like dhime, nyakhi, tinhchhu, bhusya, sarangi, flute and murchunga in each poem. For instance — when Abhay was reciting Thamel, there was music from guitar trying to reflect Thamel’s atmosphere. Use of a singing bowl to create soothing music during the recitation of poems Swoyambhu, Boudhanath, and Lumbini attempted to give a feel of meditation.

But the ‘Heritage Poetry’ had some glitches that made the evening a little boring. There were no pictures from Mustang when the poet was reading the lines Joonko Ek Tukra Dhartimai Chhuteko Chha from his poem Mustang. And one could hear the flute’s music here — had there been a musical piece reflecting the local music of Mustang, it would have been a good blend.

While reciting the poems entitled Fewa, Siddhartha, Laxmi Prasad Devkota along with the musical instruments played by Kunwar, the evening would have been a better watch had there been good coordination between the poet and the photographer. One would not want the poet on centre stage to turn back and at the projector room time and again waiting for the right photo to be displayed during the recitation of a particular poem.

Nonetheless, Professor Dr Abhi Subedi called Abhay’s poetry “a presentation of complex aesthetics that bears the quake and tremor”. He expressed, “The structures he has talked about have collapsed but they will live in the history through the art form. It is a post-earthquake poetry.”