ABOUT THE POEM A poem is often obliged to align itself to the physical or emotional rhythms of its subject. When that subject is an ancient city, practically a civilisation, as in Kedarnath Singh’s ‘Banaras,’ the task of sonic and semantic representation is especially challenging. The lyric speaker floats through space and time, searching for details that reveal the pulse of the city. His Banaras is something that anyone who has been to the city will recognise, but there also emerges from the verse—slowly, very slowly—a Banaras of imagination and memory.
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Kedarnath Singh is a major modern Hindi poet. He won the Jnanpith Award in 2013, and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1989 for his collection Akaal Mein Saras.