The Goan fiddler

To honour and remember one of India's greatest poets, we must first keep his works in print.

There is no statue anywhere to mark the life of Joseph Furtado. That is a pity, for his patrician looks and his long flowing beard would have made a fine figure in stone. The house where he spent his childhood, in the north Goan town of Pilerne, is today in ruins. Only a handful of the oldest residents remember him, and hardly anyone knows that Furtado, who passed away in 1947 at the age of 75, was one of the finest Indian English poets of his time. Fortunately, many of his poems still survive – barely – in just one slim volume in the rare-books section of Goa's Central Library.

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Himal Southasian
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