Dom Moraes' tombstone

Jun 20, 2012, 09:10 IST | Fiona Fernandez

It's a month to go before the city and literary buffs will celebrate Dom Moraes' 74th birth anniversary. Apt then that a new title saluting his poetry has just hit bookshelves.

For a man who carved a niche on the city's literary landscape for nearly six decades, it’s no surprise that its love affair with the wordsmith continues till date. It might not be such a bad idea to make that trip to the Sewri cemetery, where the genius lies buried, in a less-than-pompous tombstone.

A far cry from the buzz he created whenever he put pen to paper. Son of Frank Moraes — one of India’s most followed and respected writers and columnists, Dom won the coveted Hawthornden Prize in 1958 for his first collection of poetry — A New Beginning, as a 20-year-old. He did his higher studies at the Jesus College, Oxford, where he read English. Dom continued to write while living in London and then in India, as a poet and freelancer.

Later, he wrote his memorable autobiography, My Father’s Son. His most famous collection of poems is The Brass Serpent (1964), a volume of translations from the Hebrew of T Carmi. Moraes. Besides, he had written over 20 books of prose. These include biographies, travelogues, and collections of reportage. Well versed in Hebrew, he also translated Hebrew poetry into English apart from writing columns for English newspapers.  

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