Poetry

Papia Ghoshal, hailing from Bengal, is blessed with the soil where poetry exists as a way of life. Bengal has given birth to brilliant poets like Rabindranath Tagore and many others. Poetry forms a natural and very strong part of Papia’s work and her existence. It also forms one of the very important inspirational sources for her painting. “As a truly Renaissance figure Papia Ghoshal transience her creativity into the handsel in films, as film maker and script writer” (quoted by Dr Shibnarayan Ray). 

Through poetry, Papia celebrates and worships a woman and freely explore all aspects of womanhood. As a matter of fact, freedom forms the main feature of her poetry, as much as serenity. All is then directed to Love as the purest manifestation of being. Thus she unconsciously addresses all phenomena, which were most worshiped by surrealists in the boom of their movement and which have not yet been fully grasped.

Papia, who’s leading her life following the path of the Bauls, also creates her own lyrics which talk about her knowledge about the Baul philosophy and practices. She composes songs originating from her rhythms of poetry.

Her published poetry books:

Third World Women/ Ženy Třetího Světa (Czech – English publication – 2018)

Behaya (Bengali “shameless” – 2016)

The wild smell of lantana (English – 2012)

Second Sight (English-2009)

Dny Menstruace (Czech- 2010)

 

Textuation (2007- joint book with poet Christopher Arkell)

Days of Menstruation (English translation by Christopher Arkell, 2006)

Ritur Dingulo (Bengali- Kolkata International Book Fair, 2003)

Ritur Dingulo/ Days of Menstruation/ Dny Menstruace

Papia Ghoshal’s first collection of poetry, Ritur Dingulo, has been translated into English named, Days of Menstruation and Czech as Dny Menstruace.

From her painting series Flow, done with her menstrual blood, and body fluids, Papia Ghoshal took an inspiration for Theseus poems. In the English and the Czech version, some of the glimpses of those paintings are included. The first Bengali version gave birth to the amazing amalgamation of Papia’s poetry complimented by scetches of legendary painter late Prakash Karmakar and late Bijon Chowdhury and other senior artists of Bengal.

Through poetry, Papia celebrates and worships a woman and freely explore all aspects of womanhood. As a matter of fact, freedom forms the main feature of her poetry, as much as serenity. All is then directed to Love as the purest manifestation of being. Thus she unconsciously addresses all phenomena, which were most worshiped by surrealists in the boom of their movement and which have not yet been fully grasped.

‘ The poems, which eventually formed that collection, were the result of a long meditation on the meaning of femininity. I drew on my own experience as a woman, whose flow of blood islands her each month from the males around her. Yet my experience and the clarity it brought to the way I saw myself in my world, was also the experience of every woman born, and of no man whatsoever.

A woman’s menstrual flow is so easily seen as a river of separation by men. They have traditionally interpreted it as a sign of our weakness, our uncleanliness, our humiliation. For that we have suffered purdah, and forms of imprisonment not only physical, but also mental. Only very recently, in some parts of the world, have we begun to break out of such confinement, but our liberation has, in truth, scarcely begun. Menstruation is a word, which can still, even in the year 2007, infuriate and disgust men who are considered by society at large as ‘liberal’, ‘sensitive’, ‘educated’.

I tried in the poems of Days of Menstruation to offer for any woman reader an escape out of the mental cage in which we have all for so long been locked, and also to show all readers, female or male, the transformative qualities that I felt are present in the menstrual cycle.

Yet in the ancient traditions of India, the menstrual flow has not always been associated with female shame and oppression. The tantric tradition and its followers have long recognised and celebrated the flow of woman’s blood as a symbol of immense power and mystery and in my poetry I have consciously incorporated such positive aspects.

Taken from an article based on painting series  Flow (menstruation), with which is collection Days of Menstruation closely linked.

Second Sight

Poetry book Second Sight describes the wounds that Indians have to suffer every now and then for being born in so called third world country, which is primarily not understood by majority of the people who are accidently born in the so called first world. Second Sight involves the readers to open their second sight towards the inequality existing between these two worlds.

The Wild Smell of Lantana

The book, The Wild Smell of Lantana was dedicated to artist’s favourite flower Lantana and the poetry symbolises the wildness of the spontaneous unconditioned soul that can raise an uncompromising voice, anytime. 

Textuation 

Textuation, a new word coined by the poets in 2007 derived from the text messages (SMS) between two poet friends Christopher Arkell & Papia Ghoshal. It’s probably the first book in the world which came out with such an idea of publishing a book with the interchange of the messages. The idea of the book belonged to publication house Nandimukh, whose director is Papia’s poet friend Namita Chowdhury from Bengal.

Behaya

Published by chnowa prokashoni, Papia’s Bengali words were preserved in the form of behaya meaning shameless. Behaya usually leaves the readers question who is shameless, the writer, the subject or the society. 

The Third World Women

The book is a minute observation from the perspective of the so called “third world” country women who cross borders to have an overview of the so called “first world”. The book is complimented with Papia’s paintings.

Special poetry reading performances:

House of Lords, London

National Museum, Prague

Kolkata International Literary Festival 2019

India Club, Strand 

Incite, Phoenix Artists Club 

Arts Worker’s Guild (London)

Nehru Centre London

 

London Book Fair 

Shangri-la, Livingstone CZ (Ostrava)

Anglo American University in Prague 

British Library 

Lucknow Literary Festival

Kolkata International Book Fair

Galerie Lapidarium Prague

Theatre Husa na Provazku (Brno)

Bangla Academy Kolkata. India 

Indian Embassy Prague

ICCR Azad Bhawan Gallery Delhi

Jibanananda Shabhaghar  Kolkata. India

Potala, Buddhist Himalayan Centre, Prague