Pratibha Satpathy

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Pratibha Satapathy
Born (1945-11-27)27 November 1945
Occupation Poet
Nationality Indian

Pratibha Satpathy is an eminent poet of Oriya literature.[1] She had been recognised as one of the leading poets of the country and had been honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award, New Delhi. Here is a glimpse into her life and contribution to literature. Pratibha Satpathy is one of the leading poets of Orissa. She has been writing poetry in Oriya for more than forty years. Her poetry expresses deep human sensibility in lucid form while attempting to explore the mystery of human relationships and beyond. She was editor of one of the leading Oriya magazine 'Istahaar' for 25 years. Now she is editor of another famous poetry magazine 'Udbhasa' which is published quarterly

Pratibha is not only famous for writing Oriya poetry, but also known to be a great literary critic. She has also translated a number of famous English literatures of well-known writers such as Pearl S. Buck into Oriya language. Many of her books in Oriya have been translated into Hindi by herself. She has won many literary acclaims for her superior writing standard. For her remarkable literary works, she has been invited to attain a number of national and international conferences and symposia at various point of her career.

In her own words –[edit]

"What can be told about poetry, that too, about one's own poetry, one's own creativity? This relationship of mine with poetry is a very long one. Even in childhood while playfully touching the words, inconsistently I got trapped in their mystery. The butterflies in the banana grove, puzzled me, the fragrance of the unknown flower in the bushes, overwhelmed me for a while, or with stunned disbelief I fixed my tearful gaze on the dead child of some beggar woman. That was when I was a girl.
While my growing consciousness was imbibed with the literary and cultural sensibility of my grandfather, the renowned linguist and compiler of "the Oriya lexicon" Shri Gopal Chandra Praharaj, the soft humming of my mother of the lucid melancholic Oriya songs, had aroused my adolescent fascination for rhymes and rhythms.
By the time I joined Ravenshaw College as a first year science student, I was already regarded as a young poet by my professors and fellow students. What a wonderful experience it was! As if I was flying in the sky! But just as the happiness of young love matures into a bundle of sorrowful bliss, in the same way, my intense interaction with words kept reaching an unfathomable depth. An intense pain arose and from time to time got transferred into a feeling of absolute bliss. Pain and happiness embedded into each other and I set forth on the quest of my own identity in poetry.
Stretched before me, was the long and rich tradition of Oriya poetry starting from the ages of Sarala Dasa and the vast expanse of Oriya language with immense word-power. After that, every expression became a test for me – a very intricate test. A poem appeared to me as an arrow of words, ready to pierce its target. The fire of expression continued to burn inside me incessantly. Most probably poetry took birth from the artistic courage and power of that expression and reflected itself as embodiment of life's endeavours.
The experience of life with all its pain, pleasure, torture and betrayals, came to me with intensity. All these together were a drop of tear between the unwritten lines of my poetry.
I do not know how far my readers were moved. Did they, in that drop of tear discover the unfulfilled pleasure of the soul? Did they find the flashes of their own sadness or any confidence to overcome that sadness? I do not know for sure, but always I had a faith that my poetry was meant for that.
How one defines 'faith' in the realms of poetry? The poet's faith is not enough here. It has to be linked with the faith of the readers. In this process, poetry has lost much of its readership. This is because, poetry has become suggestive, sometimes an invocation, sometimes made of silence. For constructing poetry out of silence and infusing life into it, often the poet has to occupy the place of the creator. A poet cannot explain in what way the chemistry of poetry is made-mixing what proportion of dream and imagination to reality. Surely, a fraction of this creative process remains out of poet's reach. While expressing my own relationship with poetry, I feel I would be sitting in front of a huge canvas hanging from the sky. I would be competing with that great artist who paints that canvas with his extraordinary brush. I feel, I would also be painting that canvas with real rivers, real forests, real moonlit nights. I would be choosing and discarding words at my own will. I would be giving birth to poetry that has so far remained invisible in the space and in the process, soaking myself in blood, but, getting overwhelmed with the deep satisfaction of achieving the desired.
That is all dreams. But the reality around is totally different, full of violence, terror and disillusions. No poet of our time can escape this. The reality creates its own dream and from that dream is created the realm of poetry. Throughout, the poetic process I have experienced, in my life, I have only tried to comprehend and assimilate this interplay of dream and reality in my own way.
For every poet, poetry is endless endeavour, a Tapasya. But there is no expectation of any gain, any salvation. It is an endless process of evolution, an experience of blossoming continuously, an act of uniting oneself with the earth and its essence. – Prativa Satpathy"

Her publications spread across poetry collections in Oriya, poetry collections translated into various languages such as Hindi and English, literary criticisms, essays and other translations.

Major Works[edit]

Poetry Collections

  • Ama Kavita (1962)
  • Asta Janhara Elegy (1969)
  • Grasta Samaya (1974)
  • Sahada Sundari (1978)
  • Niyata Vasudha ( 1980, II edition 1987)
  • Nimishe Akshara (1985)
  • Mahamegha (1988)
  • Sabari (1991, II edition 2005)
  • Tanmaya Dhuli (1996, II edition 2003)
  • Adha Adha Nakshyatra (2001)
  • Kahi Na Hele (2006)

Poetry Collections in Hindi/English (translated from Oriya) & their Publishers

  • Samaya Nahin Hai (1994); Radhakrishna Prakashan, New Delhi.
  • Sabari (1996); Vani Prakashan, Daryaganj, New Delhi.
  • Adha Adha Nakshyatra (2001); Medha Book, Sahadara, New Delhi.
  • Tanmaya Dhuli (2004); Kendriya Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi.
  • A Time of Rising (2003); Harananda Publications, New Delhi.
  • For you Once, Everytime (2011); Vidya Puri, Cuttack

Literary Criticisms /Essays

  • Kalpanara Abhisekha (1982, II edition 1997).
  • Spandanara Bhumi (1994).
  • Pratiphalana (1995).
  • Post Modern Oriya Poetry & other Essays (1999, II edition 2006).
  • Bharata Matara Looha (2002).
  • Barnila Bhogapura (2004).
  • Biography of Smt. Sarala Devi, by NBT.
  • Ever Flows the River (2011) – A CD containing poetry recitations and appreciation of recognised poets and writers with soft sweet melody


  • Arana Swapnara Rati ('The Hidden Flower' a novel by Pearl S. Buck), three editions.
  • Kritadas ('The Slave' a novel by Isaac B. Singer), two editions
  • Kalhana Charita (Central Sahitya Academy Translation Scheme)
  • Nagara Manthan (Central Sahitya Academy Translation Scheme)
  • Subramanium Bharati (NBT, New Delhi Translation Scheme)
  • Sahasara Shikha ('The Crane Fly Early', a novel by Chinghiz Aitmatov)
  • Bhinna Deshira Muhan (Latvian poetry by Maris Caklais & Raison)
  • Memoirs (Shaishaba ru Samsara, 2008)
  • Pratibha: from dust to star (with commentary from friends and critics in Oriya, English, and Hindi; 2011)

Major Recognition[edit]

National awards

  • 2014 – Sahitya Bharati Samman-2013
  • 2007 – Poetess Subhadra Kumari Chauhan Sahitya Samman by Rashtriya Hindi Akademi & Rupambara, Kolkata, 2007
  • 2003 – R.G National Sadbhabana Award
  • 2001 – Kendriya Sahitya Akademi Award[2] for Poetry Collection ‘Tanmaya Dhuli’
  • 1999 – N.N. Thirumalamba Award of Karnataka for Poetry Collection ‘Adha Adha Nakshyatra’
  • 1996 – Critic Circle India Award

Regional Awards

  • 2011 – Sahitya Prithivi
  • 2008 – Utkal Surya Samman
  • 2007 – Bhubaneswar Book Fair Award
  • 2005 – S.B.I. Poetry Honor
  • 2005 – SAIL Poetry Honor
  • 2005 – J.K. Paper Mills Poetry Honor, Rayagada
  • 1992 – Sarala Award of IMFA Charitable Trust
  • 1986 – State (Orissa) Sahitya Akademi Award for Poetry Collection ‘Nimishe Akshara’
  • 1985 – Dharitri-Samajbadi Society Poetry Award
  • 1981 – Vishuba Award, Prajatantra Prachar Samiti, Orissa
  • 1962 – Prajatantra Young Poet’s Award

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PRATIBHA SATPATHY". 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012. PRATIBHA SATPATHY 
  2. ^ Kendriya Sahitya Akademi Award

External links[edit]