Friday, March 1, 2013

Gopalakrishna Adiga's "Do Something, Brother"

Gopalakrishna Adiga (1918-1992), winner of the Sahitya Akademy Award, India’s highest literary honor given to a writer, is a prolific Kannada poet. “Do Something Brother,” translated into English by the famous A.K. Ramanjan, is an ironic poem where the narrator is rooting for all human beings engaged in the act of senseless destruction of nature. The repetition of the imperative, “do,” “find,” “break,” “crush” gathers in intensity as the poem moves along and reaches the penultimate moment of “do anything,” and the ultimate, “This is natural./This is the one thing needful.” The conversational tone of the narrator only makes the devastation caused by us all the more hard-hitting. This ultimate ironic play on the destruction of nature as natural points to the human being excoriated of his/her humanity. Note Adiga’s exhaustive listing of images of the natural world to show its vulnerability to our very presence on earth! 


  1. actually this poem is mocking on the tendency of modern man to be always hurry for doing something, without any concern about the consequences of his unthoughtful actions.

  2. Yeah! It's right. Modern man is devil and life-threatening by nature in contrary with mother earth who is life-giving and serene..

  3. Amiga's 'Do Something Brother' is not a poem at all. There may be some essence in its original text but it's English version is fully void of the poetic zeal. Translation is not literature. Here I see this so-called poem is just a bundle of words. Very simple words have been repeated again and again.Shame to the publishers that they are fully influnced only with the post and prestige of the writers. Shame to the universities that prescribe this type of so-called poems in their syllabus and shame to the so-called readers and critics who apload any thing of this type of poems. Literature is dying day by day from our culture.