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Aesthetic Consciousness in R. K. Singh’s Poetry

 



Aesthetic Consciousness in R. K. Singh’s Poetry

Dr. Jindagi Kumari

Assistant Professor

English Language and Communication Skills

Maharaja Surajmal Institute of Technology

Janakpuri East, New Delhi, India

Abstract:

With sixteen collections of poems R.K. Singh’s contribution to Indian English poetry is significant though not duly recognized. A strong voice from Jharkhand, India, Singh assimilates local flavors with universal outlook while experimenting with lyrical poetic forms and Haiku.  His brief but terse poems present human psyche and conditions in an idiom that strikes a chord with the contemporary life and thought process. Singh’s poems are remarkable for reasons more than one. The paper attempts a detailed analysis of the aesthetic value and poetic appeal in R. K. Singh’s poetry.

Keywords: Aesthetics; poetry; R.K. Singh; imagery; form

Aesthetic1 consciousness may be understood as consciousness to art in terms of effect or responses that it generates. In the context of poetry, it constitutes the elements that contain the aesthetic value 2 or beauty of poetic art. 

Coleridge, in Biographia Literaria, chalks out four elements of good poetry: musicality (rhythm and rhyme), imagery / words modified by predominant passion, thoughts, and feelings. He also appreciates “aloofness of the poet’s own feelings”; from those which he at once paints and analyses…”3 Eliot also seems to prescribe objectivity of attitude in a poet when he stresses on an artist’s need to escape from emotion and personality.4  

One of the landmark explanations concerning aesthetics of poetry can be that of I. A. Richards, who, addressing the question of “true places of the values of the experience (poetic)”5 casts aside the study of imagery as they are “…the point at which two readings are most likely to differ”.6 He feels that “in the reading of poetry the thought due simply to the words, their sense it may be called comes first….”7 In other words, Richards defines a poem as a group of words that evokes a particular experience that does not vary greatly when read by different sensitive readers.  The experience of the readers counts crucially on the sequential arrangement of words. It is the meaning of the words that determine the success of rhyming and rhythm.  

The views concerning poetic art expressed above may be summed up as indicating thoughts and emotions along with poetic language implying beauty of poetry.

What is poetry?

R. K. Singh in a number of poems draws on the ideals of poetic beauty. To Singh poetry is all inclusive like life; it harmonises positive and negative, sweet and bitter, beautiful and ugly at the same instant:

        A poem is

        like life

 

        sound

        and silence

 

        movement

        and stillness

         

        fragment

        and wholeness

 

        Avibhiktam

        Vibhakteshu

 

         like Shiva

         and Shakti

 

          lotus

          and mud

( Poem no. ‘1’, 1-14, Music Must Sound) 8

 

The lines seem to imply that art is not justified if not allowed to feature the darker aspect of existence along with the brighter. Following this poetics the poet brings to the fore every puny and petty thing that occurs in day to day life. Poetry for Singh could be inspired even from “failed ejaculation” and “cowardice” (Sexless Solitude and Other Poems, p. 54).9 Perhaps in the realisation of the darkness the poet sees embodied an intent craving for light.  The poet promotes a view of assimilation and harmony as reflective of the true artistic spirit.       

Further, in Singh poetry is presented through the metaphor of woman. The concept of woman is the key to the aesthetics of R. K. Singh. The poet says:

         The best poetry

        is a woman

        concrete, personal, delightful

        greater than all (Poem no. ‘7’, 1-4, My Silence)

 

Rabindranath Tagore also takes woman and poetry as identical and believes that a woman unlike man “has to be picturesque and musical to make manifest what she truly is,—because, in her position in the world, woman is more concrete and personal than man. She is not to be judged merely by her usefulness, but by her delightfulness.” 10

By implication, Singh advocates personal poetry, both in terms of themes and treatment. It is for this reason, perhaps, that the poet draws a lot on woman; her beauty and nudity, for an instance  “An undresses woman” is depicted in R. K. Singh as “live sensuous and delicious” (Flight of Phoenix, p.71). Besides, the poet also explores the intimate moments of nuptial relationship: “Your lush lips / ripple fire” (Poem no.5, ll. 5-6, My Silence).  The poet seems to attain “delightfulness” for his verses by means of the projection of the subjective experiences. However, the poet also presents woman and sex as an antidote to the dark abyss of existential realities which is as equally dominant aspect of his aesthetics. The poet often reflects on the existence as monotonous, overshadowed by failure, guilt, humiliation, loneliness, rejection and helplessness. He highlights lack of harmony in life: “Sleeping in the same bed, but / isn’t it disappointing we / haven’t seen the same dreams …?”  (‘Isn’t it Disappointing?’, ll.1-3, Some Recent Poems). Further in the poem, ‘Erection can’t Create’ one comes across a similar sad reflection on the decay of values; “where olive rested once / now stinks with dried blood. A famine of love / menopausal silence: / erection can’t create” (ll.2-6)

Directness and Brevity

One notes that Singh articulates his vision in a straightforward manner. The style of the poet develops not only with his sharing of subjective experiences but also with liberal employment of words and images related to sex.       

        at the Ganges in Kartik

        old gods leer at

        their wet bare backs

 

         in bleeding cold

        ‘aum’ is convenient

         to soothe Vasanas

                                                 

         no more Aswapathys please

         they’re hung up, racing in jet

         to catch two white moons 

(Poem no. ‘27’, ll. 7-15, Music Must Sound)

 

In the lines the poet exhibits the moral downfall of priests at the banks of Ganges by pinpointing their amorous activity. Here, the firsthand references to the incidents and places add to the directness of the artistic voice. The frankness is reinforced through the structure of the poem consisting of phrases. The phrasal construction also provides the poem a sort of brevity:

        Mute pavements

        shelters meditators

        in milky silence

                                                  

        passing beauties

        denuded in water

        skin shrinks (3-6)

 

and                                          

          face lotus

          tongue sandal

          manners sweet

                                                  

          heart scissors

          I know him

          seasoned crook  

(Poem no ‘40’,ll.1-5, Flight of Phoenix)

The style is an outcome of the poet’s preoccupation with haiku. In the example one also notices other stylistic features, such as lack of punctuation and title. This style of Singh’s seems to be akin to the radical break in America from the1890s where writers and artists sought to express the “immediately contemporary.”11 R. K. Singh seems aware of the new technical problems in art and makes an advance to create a body of verse which is more rapid, precise, economical and bold than that of the poet of the preceding decades.

Beguiling simplicity of Words

Singh’s verses display words related to diverse fields such as Nature, journalism, erotica, science and technology, diseases and medicine, and literature and  scripture. The poet also deploys a few foreign phrases such as “deo volente” (God being willing) (Music Must Sound, p. 122), “sotto voce” (in a low voice) (Some Recent Poems, p. 42).

Also, Singh’s poems introduce a number of indigenous (Sanskrit and Hindi) expressions such as “Avibhiktam-Vibhakteshu” (Music Must Sound, p. 100), Puja pandals (p.76) “Vasanas”, “sadhana” (p.110) “gurus” (p.124), “chandan” , “geru” (p.122) , “Shivalay” , “sutra” (Some Recent Poems, p. 8),   , “sanskar” (Memories Unmemoried, p. 91), “monsoony mist” (My Silence, p. 144),  “Dhoopam” (p.164); and colloquial Hindi such as; “alao” (p.153), “nullah”  (Memories Unmemoried, p. 93) etc. All these words are used symbolically in the verses and are adequately suggestive within the context. An example is the poem ‘Bushes, Weeds and Flowers’ (Some Recent Poems) where liturgical terms “covenant and prophets” are used symbolically:                                           

          let’s clean the sky of tales

         of covenants and prophets

         and be at peace with  earth’s

         bushes and weeds and flowers. (ll.7-10)

 

Here, words “covenant” and “prophets” are symbolic of the religious authorities who are assigned great task to explain religion, spirituality and meaning of life. The speaker, however, does not trust the “tales” of such prophets. He rather advocates being “at peace with” the common masses represented through the Botanical registers “bushes, weeds, and flowers”. In the lines the words transcend their usual context and are worked out in a novel context. This reflects the artist’s flair for freedom and experimentation.  In Singh “…common words lose their pedestrian character, their ordinariness, and gain a new face.” 12

Further, the poet avoids multi-syllabic words. The poet does not subscribe to verbosity and “romantic eloquence.” Here, one finds Singh as a distinguished artist using “simple words” 13 which are far from simple in their effect; the word the poet chooses are “sharp”, “incisive”14 and terse in nature. The choice of such words lends uniqueness to the tone marked by “electrifying rapidity”.

R. K. Singh seems more radical in his use of words. This proves true as one examines the range of the erotic vocabulary in Singh. The poet goes  near the fringes of porn poetry in his induction of words such as “orgasm” (Above the Earth’s Green, p. 25 )15 “ejection”, “ejaculation”  (Sexless Solitude and Other Poems, p. 54), “copulation” (p.18), “”consummation” (p.22), “climax”, “busts” (Memories Unmemoried, p. 87), “…upstanding nipples / under transparent blouse” (Poem no. 23, ll. 7-8) “dick” (p. 2), “fuck” (Flight of Phoenix, p. 61), “erection”(Some Recent Poems, p.27) in his poetry. Such uses not only reflect the poet’s excessively free spirit and poetic audacity but also decide the overall tone of his poetry making it more candid and direct. The poet also uses slang thus giving a casual and conversational appearance to his poetic argument. Also the style reflects the poet’s view of art that should not conform to any restriction. For art “sky is the limit”. This élan for sex words has been severely criticised but these words shock with their adequacy in the context they have been used since their employment is symbolic and not literal.

The sex vocabulary used in the verses produce two types of effect. A group of them consisting of the parts of woman’s body is used to describe the feminine beauty and evokes eroticism.

         That autumn tree

         from this window

         looks like a young woman

         naked

         exciting birds

         to come

         kiss and play

(Poem no. ‘2’, ll. 1-7, My Silence)

 

The image of tree as a “naked” “young woman” creates sensual appeal. However, there is another group of words which may appear cruder and vulgar: “Scratching between his legs” (Flight of Phoenix, p. 68): and “he pressed her skin.” Still cruder is the following snippet:

            A woman should complement

                                …wanting love

                            …with sweetness

                            

           of the bone in mouth or

           frenzied riding high or

           grinding pubic regions

(Poem no.‘48’, ll. 1-6 , Flight of Phoenix  )

 

The speaker here shares his idea with kitschy sex expressions. His vulgar suggestions do not appear effective even if seen as an outcome of anger and grudge against repressive social structure. Also the instance is not alone of its kind. One finds a number of such uses: “Like a woman’s mind / resides between her thighs…/ man’s love and hatred / concentrate on the crevice / though he watches face” (Poem no. ‘56’, ll. 1-6); “I smell my boneless / semen under the pillow / weaving legends…” (Poem no. ‘59’, ll. 1-3) and “she unzips her skirt / like the silkworm undoing / its yellow cocoon” (Poem no.‘61’, ll. 4-6). The poets presentation of the unspectacular sexual encounters often appear undesirable. However, the use of the sex words and expressions by the poet adds a new dimension to the frankness in Indian English Poetry.

Erotic Imagery

One of the marked features of Singh’s aesthetic is his use of erotic imagery. The poet uses variety of sex images and constructs them in many ways. Firstly, in many poems the poet perceives woman’s body in terms of nature images. Examples are “forest of her body” (My Silence, p.144), “steeps of her breast”, “body’s delta” (Above the Earth’s Green, p. 52) and “the moon” etc. Woman’s body,  chief source of eroticism in Singh is recurrently projected with the images of “island” (My Silence, p. 144), “ocean” and “sea” (Above the Earth’s Green, p. 24) The image “two white moons” (Music Must Sound, p. 110) is connotative of a woman’s bosom. Further, the poet captures men “leer (ing)”, “wet bare backs” of women; “An undressed woman” (Flight of Phoenix, p.70) is “live sensuous delicious”. Singh also uses animal imagery as sex symbols; image of “flying horse” (p.103) for example is used to convey a sexually active persona. At another place the image “rhino horns” (Above the Earth’s Green, p.19) is employed with a similar meaning. Apart from  these all, the poet also draws directly on bodily and sexual images such as “ kisses” (Above the Earth’s Green, p. 94) “voluptuous sqeezes”, “nipples” (p. 30), “navel love” (p.27),”inside your breast space”, “your flame” “your altar”, “wet lingerie”, “between thighs” (Sexless Solitude and Other Poems, p. 18) , “legs slide” (Some Recent Poems, p. 20), “eyes and thighs” (p.33), “lips” and others. In some of the poems some objects and structures such as “door” and “walls” (Music Must Sound, p.110), “the centre” (p.19), “sitar” (p.106), “cigarette” are also used as sex symbol.

Other Images and Symbols

R. K. Singh’s poems abound in Nature and cosmic symbolism such as “tree”, “flower” ,  “sun”   (Some Recent Poems , p.2),  “moon”  (p.20), “earth and sky” , “light and darkness” (p.10), “day and night” (p.29), “hill” (Music Must Sound, p.116), “road” (Music Must Sound, p. 116),  “sea” (p.119),  “ocean” (My Silence, p. 159).  The image of “hill”, for example, appears recurrently in poem no. ‘21’, ‘44’ and ‘47’ of Music Must Sound. In poem no. ‘44’ it symbolises a link between physical and spiritual: “Across the brown woods / I climb the naked hills / where tempests can’t reach / nor waves rise to collapse” (ll.1-4). In poem no. ‘47’, however, the poet evokes the scenic beauty of a hill: “The sun sheds its radiance / over the hills…” (ll. 1-2)

The poet uses symbols such as “death” (Flight of Phoenix, p. 78), “ashes” (p.94), “shadows”, “dust” (Music Must Sound, p.105) and “fog” (My Silence, p.153) suggesting decay. Besides, in a number of poems one finds uses of animal symbolism such as “dragon” (My Silence, p.159), “cow” (p.151), “monkey”, “snake”, “pig”, “dogs” (pp.148,150,152), “jackal”(Music Must Sound, p.129), “ass”, “rat” (Memories Unmemoried, p. 94), “butterfly” (Flight of Phoenix, p.62) and others. Some words having common everyday uses are also attributed with symbolic significance with the recurrent employment; examples are “cup” (Some Recent Poems, p.13), “politics”, “sex” (Sexless Solitude and Other Poems, p.16), “road”, “child”, and “son” (My Silence, p.165). The “cup”, for example, signifies a pastime or a hobby in the poem ‘My New Cup’ (Some Recent Poem) whereas it symbolises life; warmth, love, friendship and humanity in ‘Plant New Peonies”. The symbol of “rat” in poem no. ‘37’ of Memories Unmemoried, is used for politicians who “design new room / to negotiate disgrace” (ll.3-4).

Combined with the imagistic and symbolic quality of the words is the use of figures such as personification. Following verse is an apt example where all the inanimate natural objects and features have been invested with life:

        The morning’s withered flesh

        and swollen skin of the day

        by bloody nullah in smoke

        tears shade tomorrow

        like today, everyday they cry 

(Poem no. ‘35’, ll.1-5, Memories Unmemoried)

 

The imagery in these lines has surrealistic quality as it objectifies a state of mind reflective of utter frustration and helplessness.

Musicality

In Singh’s poetry words constitute the basic aesthetic device. They startle with their sound and meaning, order and novelty.  The musical effect in his verses is largely created due to alliterative device which also accounts for occasional finding of internal rhythm in his verses. An instance may be the following verse:

        Love leads to beauty

       and vision with perfection

       pillar of dust or

                                                      

       fleeting shadow can

       turn into light revelling

       pure songs wrought out of

                                                  

       the clay blending joys

                                          ( Poem no. ‘7’, ll. 1-7, Flight of Phoenix)

 

Here, one finds that the expressions have been weaved skillfully with an ear to the repetitive sounds. In the first line the sound /l/ is repeated in words “love” and “leads”; while in the next line repetition of /n/ sounds occurs. Also, /p/ sound is repeated in words “perfection” and “pillar”; /l/ sound recurs in “light” and “reveling”; /t/ sound is repeated in line five in words “turn”, “light”, “wrought” and “out”. One notes that apart from consonant sounds vowel sounds are also used for musical effect: “under cloud-cover, rising / sliding ritually in bed swallow / humiliations, arrogance and ridicule /   to escape whores in the street” (‘The Next Day’s Sun’, ll. 13-16, Some Recent Poems). The repetition of sound helps the poet to create internal rhyme as in “rising” “sliding”. However, there are no end rhymes.

Mythical Allusions

Another pronounced feature of Singh’s verse is mythical allusions with which the poet studs his verses. These mythical allusions are variously drawn from the Bible; “Bashan” (Music Must Sound, p. 120), “mai? mai?” (p.121), “Eloi! Eloi!”  (p.128) “Eden” (p.116), “Sinai” (p.121) and other sources and basically have metaphoric function. These are often hard to decode and obfuscate the meaning of the verses.

Enjambment / Word order                                                                                   

Singh at times appeals with arrangement of words in his verses. An example is “survive surprises” in the poem ‘Survival’ (Some Recent Poems, p. 50). Here the inverted order of the words foregrounds the meaning and highlight the element of surprise. Singh’s aptitude to experimentation in word order is further seen through the feature of enjambment whereby a single word in association with preceding and succeeding lines create two different meanings; an instance is the word “fruit” in the second line and “yellow sun” in the third line of the verse.

      Moonlight lingers

      on  mango boughs like the fruit

      sweet yellow sun

                                              

      in my courtyard

      cool shade travels with thin cloud

      I see love dance    

(‘My New Cup’, ll. 1-6, Some Recent Poems)

 

Untitled Verses

Notwithstanding, the poet avoids giving titles to his verses and punctuation in collections Some Recent Poems and Sexless Solitude and Other Poems. Their being untitled seems to give an impression of the verses as sequences of one long poem spreading to the entire book. Also the poet believes that even if “titles tell too much” they limit the meaning and lessen the effect of a poem, whereas the poet’s intention is to express “poetry that is beyond the sky”. Singh, in this respect, reflects quite unconventional an attitude. He tries to evolve his own style as a way to transcend limitations.16 Nevertheless, regarding the poems without titles, I. K. Sharma, an Indian English poet and critic, says, “to a common reader title is a big help that makes a poem accessible.” 17 D.S. Maini, another, noted Indian  English poet, expresses doubt to such experimentations: “I’m not sure if such a view can really be sustained for long unless perhaps one has the genius of an Emily Dickinson, as also the compulsions of her craft.”18 Probably, the poet’s giving titles to the verses of his recent poetic volumes seems an outcome to such critical responses.

Experimental Punctuation

The poet avails poetic freedom and goes beyond the conventional norms for an intentional emission of punctuation as in the lines:  “Is it the fear / of dying penting up, don’t know / can’t resist.” (‘Survival’, ll. 1-3, Some Recent Poems) In the lines lack of comma lends a kind of rapidity to the verse that reflects the person’s agitation and inability. Such experimentation has its own effect and is not used merely to show linguistic expertise. However, the propensity does not succeed always. Singh’s poetics is perhaps rightly deemed as “exciting but precarious” and some critics feel that in most of his poems “language qua language is apotheosised (…) than by some powerful sustaining thought.” 19 The poet’s experimentation and non conformity in stylistic context is an illustration of his intent to attain balance in art and also suggests his quest for balance in life.

Haiku-like Form

R.K. Singh’s verses lack a uniform pattern of rhythm or rhyme. Nevertheless, in some poems where the poet uses haiku (the Japanese form of verse) as stanza unit, syllabic rhythm can be observed. The formal aspect of R.K. Singh’s verses, at large, is guided by his practice of haiku.  The poet does not always conform to the traditional pattern of haiku (5-7-5 syllables) and tanka (5-7-5-7-7 syllables). He, instead, uses three line stanza patterns that appear Haiku like. In addition, he employs two lines, four lines, and five lines stanza pattern but they occur less often. Haiku in different beats 4-6-4, 5-7-5 and in free form are composed by the poet in stanza form in the longer poem and individually in Haiku collections. An example of 4-6-4 syllabic arrangements is the following poem:  

                   they close their eyes

                   or shut them with rupees

                   matters little

                

                   but I worry

                   when with  sight in their hands

                   they free shadows

(‘They Close their Eyes’, ll.1-4, Some Recent Poems)

 

Similarly example of short lyric in tanka form is as follows:

 

                 I clasp your hands

                 and feel the blood

                 running savagely

                 through  your arteries

                 in tulip silence

(Poem no. ‘4’, ll.1-5, My Silence)

 

The poet in his effort to follow stanza and syllabic pattern seems to strive for “symmetry”. But in spite of his constant effort the poet fails to maintain uniformity and reflects lack of consistency at each level of his style. Every feature of style that he develops or adopts remains a perpetual subject of variation. In this regard one seems to agree with I. H. Rizvi’s observation: “…Singh believes in variety, variation and originality.”20

Self-directed Irony

Irony is instrumental to the overall effect of Singh’s poetry. The element is often self directed and used to whiplash hypocrisy and deflate ego.21

                                                  I seek my balance in

       yoga-nidra in the closed

       room think his thoughts and lies

 

       we weave to ensnare spirit

       that pricks the balloon we pump

       to rise above the earth’s green:

                             (Poem no. ‘41’, ll. 4-9, Above the Earth’s Green)

 

In the poem one finds irony cutting through the dual notion of spirituality. Irony in Singh’s verses is also directed against corruption. In the following verse irony is evoked by means of animal imagery to expose corrupt politicians:

          sucking the monkey with his antics

          of love and justice he plays

          the lamb, the lion, the pig, and the ape

          and prove his virility in the politics

          of monkey, cow, and snake

(Poem no. ‘36’, ll. 9-13, My Silence)

 

This depiction of inappropriate and incongruous behaviour gives vent to irony besides producing humour. However, the notion that the politicians treat “love and justice” as “antics” indicates the persona’s anger against them. Irony here seems to be getting bitter.  Irony in Singh’s verses is less humorous and more sarcastic. A similar ironical situation occurs in poem no. ‘37’ where the poet lashes at the politicians:

         It’s outrageous

         with headless heads

         and paper tigers

         roaring from the top

                                      (Poem no.  ‘85’, ll. 1-4, Music Must Sound)

 

In such poems irony seems to become a tool to express displeasure and frustration and nears sarcasm.

To sum up, in R. K. Singh one finds a successful manifestation of an individual poetic ideology and a distinct style that is bold and assimilative. The frank use of sexual expressions, use of indigenous terms, words from the various field of life combined with bleak Nature imagery are the chief aesthetic features of his poems.  Brevity of expression is largely achieved due to the selection of perfect imagery and pithy expressions accompanying terseness. Often arranged in stanzas of varying lines the poems look presentable on the pages, though they rarely reflect any rhythmic or rhyming uniformity. Musicality is evoked by proper arrangement of words alliterating with each other.

Despite all the poetic devices employed the overall poetic effect is not so inspiring. The boisterous eroticism, bitter realism, and pessimism seem to aggravate the existential pain of the reader. The speakers in Singh’s poems express their frustration and rage against impending anarchy and corruption. The tool employed to present the angst often evoke repulsion: “it puts me off to smell / sweat oozing from the armpits /   the thighs moist with urine” (‘Erotics of Bygones’, ll. 4-6, Sexless Solitude and Other Poems).

The ugliness and disgust of one’s experiences are all acceptable as an expression of one’s grudge and frustration with life but to the reader, who himself is a victim of life, it proves too much. Though the unmistakable effect of the poet in using phrases can never be underestimated; expressions like “funeral dreams”,  “shadows masturbate” (Sexless Solitude and Other Poems, p. 24),  “plateaus of nightmare” (p. 26), “corroding consciousness”, (p. 42), “crippled impulses” (p.36) “spray of years”, (p. 78) “unzipped night” (p.97) are samples of Shingh’s creative and effective use of language. One feels that R. K. Singh’s poetry can at best be judged with an awareness of existential agony of an artist. Also the abundance of subjective tendencies indicates that aesthetic impact is more directed to the artist than to his readers. However, the poems dealing with social and political criticism are more effective and promise not less than a new perspective to life.

References

1.      Lyas, Colin. Aesthetics. London: Routledge, 2003.4. Print.

2.      “Aesthetics.” The New Encyclopedia Britannica. Macropedia.Vol.1. Chicago: William Benton Publisher, 1973.149. Print.

3.      Coleridge, S.T. Biographia Literaria. Vol. II. Ed. J. Shawcross. London: Oxford   Universsity Press, 1907.16.Print

4.      Cullinane, Steven H. “Poetry’s Bones: “The Form, the Pattern” of Four Quartets.” Web.28 Dec.2009. <http://finitegeometry.org/sc/ph/poetrysbones.html>.

5.      Richards, I. A. Principles of Literary Criticism. London: Routledge Classics, 2001.113. Print.

6.      Ibid. 112.

7.      Ibid. 117.

8.      Singh, R.K. My Silence and Other Selected Poems. Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 1994. Print.

9.      Sexless Solitude and Other Poems .Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2009. Print.

10.  Devy, 144.

11.  Perkins, David. A History of Modern Poetry: Modernism and After. New Delhi: ABS Publishers and Distributors, 2006. 34. Print.

12.  Sharma, I. K. Ed. Introduction. New Indian English Poetry. Ibid. 8.

13.  Prem, P. C. K. “R. K. Singh: A Poet of Nature, Beauty and Woman.”Ibid. 74.

14.  Ibid.  61.

15.  Singh, R. K. Above the Earth’s Green. Calcutta: Writer’s Workshop, 1997.Print.

16.  Sinha, R. N. “In the Landscape of the Self: R. K. Singh’s ‘Flight of Phoenix’” New Indian English Poetry: An Alternative Voice. Ibid. 332.

17.   Ibid.

18.  Maini, D. S. “R. K. Singh: Search for a Rhetoric Balance.” Ibid. 28.

19.  Ibid. 29.

20.  Rizvi, I. H.  “Some Comments on ‘Peddling Dream.’” 327-28.

21.  (Paraphrased) Sharma, I. K. “Music Must Sound: An ‘Epic with Scratchy Jargon.’” Ibid.128.