‘These poems have appealed to me greatly. They have stuck in my mind . . . And so I commend these poems and perhaps they might move others as they have moved me’
Agyeya was jailed as a revolutionary by the British authorities in the early 1930s-an experience that indelibly shaped his literary output. The verses in this collection vividly conjure the horror and tedium of imprisonment: the sound of iron gates clanging shut and the shadows cast by the bars of a cell. But Agyeya’s vision never descends into bleakness. Even quarantined, he is constantly aware of the pulse of life radiating outside the prison walls-the lotuses in bloom, the gushing breeze, the mighty seas-as well as the solidarity and compassion that unites those in captivity.
Written between 1933 and 1938, Prison Days and Other Poems astutely captures the mood before Indian independence, when freedom was still merely a dream.