(Re) Constructing the Poetic Self: Tagore, Whitman, Yeats, Eliot
By Sonjoy Dutta-Roy

This book (re)constructs some of the major poetic personalities of not too distant a past, and of different cultures and nations: Tagore, Whitman, Yeats, and Eliot, from the pages of their books of poems. Maintaining a clear distinction between the real self as biographically constructed and the poetic self as constituted in the poetic text, the author reads the silent and implicit narrative that connects poem to poem. He reconciles the autobiographical act and the poetic act, and recreates the symbolic lives of the poets from the poetic texts. Behind the individual stories, there is a greater story, moving slowly and in the background. This is the story of Poetry and the Poet, within and across cultures, East and West, during a critical and major period of history. Beginning with Tagore, who poses a lively challenge to Western thought and concepts of Poetry and the Poet, and embodies an extremely comprehensive Romantic imagination, the author moves through the story of Whitman, the modern poet Adam, through the last Romantic ideals of Yeats, deep into the modern world of Eliot. It is a story of the survival and transformation of Poetry and the Poet through crisis-ridden times.

Sonjoy Dutta-Roy teaches in the Department of English Studies, University of Allahabad. As an Undergraduate student he won the S.G. Dunn Gold medal for topping in English in the University. In 1995-1996 he was a Senior Fulbright Fellow at the English Department, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, where he worked with Prof. James Olney (editor, The Southern Review) on the relationship between Poetry and Autobiography. His research articles have appeared in the Journal of Modern Literature (Philadelphia), the Yeats Eliot Review (Arkansas), the Indian Journal of English Studies, and in several other journals. He reviews books regularly for The Statesman (Calcutta, Delhi) and contributes essays and travelogues. He is the convenor of the Creative Writing Cell, University of Allahabad, and helps the students bring out their bilingual magazine, Phoenix. His poems have appeared in Kavya Bharti (Madurai), The Journal of the Poetry Society (India), The Telegraph and have been frequently anthologised. His first book of poems, The Absent Words was published by Writers Workshop, Calcutta in 1998. Presently he is working on his second collection, Into Grander Space. He has been actively involved with group theatre at the local level and has his own group, Natyaroop.
ISBN 81-85753-47-4           2001           184 pp           Rs.350 (hb)