This volume of collected poems which represents the best work of a life time, is a milestone in the eminent poet A K Ramanujan's path.
A K Ramanujan (1929-1993) was one of the finest Indian poets writing in English, and probably the most scholarly. At the time f his death he was Professor of Linguistics at the University of Chicago, and was universally acknowledged as the authority on South Indian language and culture.
During his lifetime he published three volumes of verse in English: The Striders (1966), Relations (1971), and Second Sight (1986). He had completed work on a fourth volume, The Black Hen, which is published here for the first time.
Ramanujan is best known for his pioneering translations of ancient Tamil poetry into modern English. These permanently altered perceptions of the Indian literary map in the West. Before him ancient Indian literature was thought to be mainly Sanskritic. After he published The Interior Landscape, Poems of Love and War, and other volumes between the sixties and the eighties, it became apparent to modern poets and scholars that there was a wealth of poetry, not all discovered, in the several Indic traditions.
Ramanujan's interests included folklore, anthropology, structuralism, and biculturalism. These interests, as much as his work as translator, feed into his poetry.
This volume of Ramanujan's Collected Poems represents the complex distillation of a lifetime of unusually rich sensitivity, intellectual rigor, and feeling. It will be welcomed by all lovers of contemporary poetry.