Shiva Mangal Singh 'Suman'


Mitti ki Barat

(Rajkamal Prakashan, New Delhi; 1972)

(Sahitya Academy Awardee-Hindi-1974)


"Dr. Shiva Mangal Singh ‘Suman’, a distinguished Hindi poet, was born in 1916. He received his Doctor of Letters from Banaras Hindu University in 1950 and is at present the Vice­ Chancellor of Vikram University, Ujjain. He has received many Awards for his literary works, including the Soviet Land Nehru Award for this very work. He was Press and Cultural Attache in the Indian Embassy in Nepal and has travelled widely. He is a member of the General Council and the Hindi Advisory Board of the Sahitya Akademi He has published eight collections of poetry, one play and two prose works.

Mitti ki Barat is considered an outstanding contribution to modern Hindi poetry for its progressive outlook and simplicity of diction:' (Citation)

Mitti ki Barat is Shiva Mangal Singh Suman's seventh poetry collection. Seventy-two poems of this collection were written during the seventh decade (1961-1970). There is so much thematic variety in these poems that the poet calls this collection a bhanumati ka pitara (a container of an amazing variety of things) and thinks of it as a loss to arrange them in a logical order. He has divided the poems of this collection into six sections. The first section contains mainly patriotic poems. In these poems his love for his motherland, its nature, its festivals, its comm0n folks and great personalities, and some nostalgic memories are expressed. The poem “Mitti ki Barat” depicts the symbolic meeting of the ashes of Kamala Nehru and Pandit Jawaharlat Nehru at Sangam. The poems in the second section express various feelings of love and sensuality. The poems of the third section are about great personalities of India and the world. In the fourth section four poems are collected. Of these, three poems are about Mauritius and one about the poet's village and his mother. The poems in the fifth section are inspired directly or indirectly by the Chinese aggression on India. The last section contains some miscellaneous poems.

Collectively the poems of Mitti ki Barat present no coherent image of Suman's poetic personality. They are poetic expressions of his mental impressions and reactions to post-Independance Indian reality. The poems are simple, direct and uncomplicated. The effectiveness of these poems lies not in artistic refinement but in the passion that flows as an undercurrent. Most of the poems are rhymed and written in regular metres. The poems, which are written in free verse or in irregular metres, are not bereft of rhythm.

Har Dayal

 (Source: Sahitya Academy Awards – Books and Writers – 1955-1978

Published by Sahitya Academy. ISBN 81 7201 014 1)