Guwahati-based Poet Madhu Raghavendra’s Verses Become Anthem for ‘Non-Essential’ Artists Across the World?
Madhu Raghavendra wrote a poem titled 'Artist' on 16th June and posted it on Facebook in response to The Sunday Times Survey by The Straits Times, Singapore on 14th June that found their jobs graded as "non-essential". Little did he know that his poem would strike a chord with artists across the world.
Artists from Singapore along with art teachers from the USA, musicians in Australia, artists in Canada, to radio jockeys from the UK have shared it. Indian actress Richa Chaddah, the famed standup artist and lyricist Varun Grover, and Rahul Ram of the Indian Ocean are among the many artists who shared the poem too. The Canadian artist Tad Hargrave who is also a speaker, author, coach and Founder of Marketing for Hippies, too shared the poem.
The poem also happened to come at a time when art across the world is facing a challenge about its essentiality. There are fund cuts in arts everywhere in the world. Established theatre groups are getting adversely affected and the poem came as a word of hope to most.
The poem was also shared by noted Australian artists Katie Anne Noonan (a singer-songwriter), and Jacqueline Lisa Dark, Australian operatic mezzo-soprano. “It’s a gorgeous poem and has touched a very deep chord in our industry. It is incredibly beautiful and expresses so much in so few words,” said Jacqueline.
Many artists, musicians, and theatre groups from the US, Australia, Canada, and Europe are using the poem to advocate to their local politicians the importance of art on Twitter and other platforms.
Raghavendra said, “Some of my friends shared the image of the poem with me and asked if I was the author, as their boss or relative or acquaintance had shared the poem on their social media platforms. I'm humbled and honoured that the poem found home in the hearts of artists and people across the world. Not every day a young poet could hope to wake up to find that his poem was travelling across the world and touching lives, and being used for advocacy of the arts, especially in times of a pandemic. I am extremely overwhelmed.”