“h equals ten raised to the power of minus twenty seventh part of 6.6thness” With similar mathematical abstractions weaving near-concrete images, Taj Masood continues the oral tradition of poetry. He holds that poetry, born in head should reside there till other heads are ready to lend an ear. The images form and dissolve to reappear; they resurface, honed and enriched by flow of life meanwhile.
Orality carries an authenticity not found in the paper-rigid fixity of the material world. It is authenticated by life itself. The Classical traditions aim to capture human achievements; the oral traditions merely allow them a playground.
To the simpler, folk traditions of repairing loss due faulty memorization or joy of exaggeration, Taj introduces an objective, intellectual stance of choice. Objectivity strengthens the craft, subjectivity enriches it. Some consider poetry an exercise in vocabulary, diction; some an outflow of emotion; still others treat it as vehicle for conceptual perfection. In his case, poetry and Taj are no longer separable. His poetry carries the spontaneity of Indian music tradition. Notes and their relationship stays the same but manner and frequency of their occurrence is obliquely governed by receptivity of the audience.
Some of his poems have been mummified on paper, included in anthologies and critical books. Taj prefers to write them on paper in his calligraphic style, lending an image to letters ensuring the possibility of idea and images in the poem to acquire different shapes . His book, Alphabeastiary: A Poetry Emblem Book co-authored with Bruce Meyer, represents union: meeting of animal and human worlds, poetry and prose, east and west. Yet, there is more.
To the tradition of spontaneity, Taj has added a careful pinch of modern uncertainty. The readings of a particular poem differ not in flavour or mood alone, their content through contextual juxtaposition may well acquire different thrusts. Yet, continuation of this activity – readings, poetry – points at certitude. The oral poet seems to sing of hope, of dawn.. of faith in human endeavour and human sympathies.