13 June, 2021

Losing Its Rhyme

Ramanujan was a man of impeccable taste and fastidiousness, and would probably have been distressed by this volume.

Losing Its Rhyme
A.K. Ramanujan died unexpectedly in 1993 at the age of 64. An outstanding scholar, he was one of the best poets in English that India has produced and set new standards as a translator of Tamil and Kannada poetry. Everything that Ramanujan wrote was an illumination.

This volume contains all of Ramanujan’s own poetry and his translations that originally appeared in four volumes: The Interior Landscape, Speaking of Siva, Hymns for the Drowning and Poems of Love and War. It also has his wonderful introductions, afterwords and notes plus a couple of essays about Ramanujan’s work, mostly written after his death.

Such a complete collection could have been a treasure. Alas, the present volume is shoddily put together. It is too fat and looks ugly and squat and the pages don’t remain open, which makes reading difficult. They have also not been consecutively numbered and, because the text is merely reproduced without any resetting, it is a messy mix of typefaces. The contents’ list has no page numbers either, making it difficult to locate anything.


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