«Jagdish Prakash is a natural poet. His poetry flows from the heart and weave images that express experienced reality.» Thus writes Neena Sood, in the Editor’s Note of A Tempest in Silence, Prakash’s poetry book in English published in 2015, a collection that «places before the reader the modern world, its fears and demons, themes like love, dejection, unfulfilled desires, solitude, nostalgia, angst, existentialism, dilemmas and hope, a world divided by hatred, bigotry and even terrorism.»
Prakash writes mostly in Urdu and has published four poetry books in that language (and one is under publication). He likes to share his poems with friends on Facebook and this has led him to make pleasant and interesting acquaintances with lovers of poetry, and build strong bonds with other poets. Among these, one of the most rewarding was with Muhammad Shanazar, an educationist and poet from Pakistan. Shanazar writes in English and is also one of the best known translators in Pakistan. «This interaction», Prakash writes in his foreword, «led to the sharing of my Urdu verses with Shanazar. One morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see a translation of one of my Urdu poems by him on Facebook, along with a short message saying that he wished to translate and publish some of my poems into English. One by one he translated 65 of my poems from my books, “Nagendra ke Liye”, “Aasman-dar-Aasman” and “Shigaf”. He chose only the nazms (poems) for rendition in English, leaving aside the ghazals which, in his own words, are “untranslatable” as it is almost impossible to capture their rhythm, nuance and flavor in translation.» Hence the publication of A Tempest in Silence.
In the Translator’s Note, Shanazar states that «The most prominent feature in Jagdish’s poetry is the overwhelming urge for calmness, peace, serenity and silence charged with pathos. He exhibits maturity of thought and expresses his journey through his trail of loneliness in a subtle and dignified manner. […] Jagdish’s poetry… will undoubtedly be an invaluable addition to Indian literature in translation.»
(Edited by Silvia Pio)