What kind of poetry would you expect from such a poet? Other poets, Pash foremost among them, sang of a revolution round the corner, used blood and thunder imagery to denounce, frighten and challenge the ‘class enemies’, predicting the imminent fall of the comprador bourgeois state. Lal Singh Dil shared this optimism but in most of his poetry he remained a poet of the understatement. In Pash and the others the hope for revolution rises like a gigantic wave breaking the surface of the sea with a force that would sink the Titanic of the bourgeois state. In Lal Singh Dil the desire for revolution flows as a huge Tsunami surging deep down below the calm surface of the sea. But his poetry is revolutionary in another very fundamental sense. His poetry focuses on the daily lives of men and women and children who are absolutely at the lowest rungs of the Indian society, the social and economic outcastes - the landless labourers and field workers, the daily wagers, the sweepers and the dishwashers, the construction workers, in short the ‘scum’ of the earth in the Indian civilizational hierarchy, the people to be exploited and humiliated, to be used and abused and kept out of bound from everything decent and worthwhile. This rather than the desire for a revolution makes his poetry truly revolutionary and different from his fellow revolutionaries.
The women of Kudeli, wearing black,