Dr. Stephen Gill

Stephen Gill, an expressive voice of Canada, India and Pakistan, has authored novels, literary criticism, and collections of poems. His poetry and prose have appeared in more than five hundred publications, and he has received recognition, particularly for his poetry. Multiple awards winning Stephen Gill has authored more than twenty books, including novels, literary criticism, collections of poems and a book titled Discovery of Bangladesh. He is the subject of doctoral dissertations, and research papers. Twelve books have been released by scholars and more are to be released on his works. He was born in Sialkot, Pakistan, where he passed his early childhood and grew in India. After teaching in Ethiopia for three years, he migrated to England before settling in Canada. He writes mostly about peace and social concerns. He now lives in Cornwall, Ontario. You can contact Dr. Gill through his websites at www.stephengill.ca - www.stephengillcriticism.info

Wednesday, 10 October 2012 00:00 GFP Columnist - Dr. Stephen Gill
The peace prize awarded by the Nobel Committee to the European Union in 2012 has outraged and baffled many, and many more have derided it as shameful, absurd, satirical and a joke. The reason for derision of the European Union is its heavy debt and the dissatisfaction of some of its members who have threatened to get out of the Union. Some have dubbed the European Union a club of hatred and rivalry.

Rivalry and hatred among European nations existed before the European Union came into existence. On the positive side, no two members have come to armed clashes since its inception, whereas in the past seventy years France and Germany fought three wars.

The European Union was formed after the Second World War to maintain peace. The First World War that ended on November 11, 1918, caused several empires to collapse. In Europe, there was inflation and starvation everywhere. 10 million people perished in the war itself.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010 19:00 GFP Columnist - Dr. Stephen Gill

The NFP is proud to present an excerpt from the talk presented by Dr. Stephen Gill, an NFP Contributor, at the International Conference on Sufism and Peace, held from March 14 to March 16 organized by the Pakistan Academy of Letters in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Peace wombs the fetus of wisdom and the flowers of beauty. Peace is the path of prosperity and the breath of bliss. I congratulate Mr. Fakhar Zaman, head of Pakistan Academy of Letters, and members of his executive who have worked hard to organize this meaningful gathering of intellectuals to promote peace. I have brought a message from the land of peace to the land that should be proud because of its sufi poets and sages who have played expressive roles for creating peace to make the world a better place.

When I talk of peace, I mean the absence of war and fear for every individual to walk around with an independent conscious to accept or to reject any ideology or philosophy. This is my dream and this is what I write about in my poetry.

The cradle of my dream is mind, a field where battles are fought first. This field—I mean the mind—is unsullied by prejudices when a child comes into this world. This is the field which is to be taken care of if human needs a life without the engines of destruction and a conscious that is not a slave to prejudices and hatred.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009 19:00 GFP Columnist - Dr. Stephen Gill

It was a gasp of surprise that the Nobel Peace Prize has gone to president of the United States of America who has served his nation not even for a year and who has not demonstrated anything worthwhile, except in his statements for disarmament. The question is why the Academy was in a rush to honor him.

The Academy could have waited for a year at least to let him justify to receive this honor. If it was mainly for his talks, then there have been leaders and presidents before him who made similar statements in favour of disarmaments and to make the world nuclear-free.

The Swedish Academy consists of intellectuals and wise members. They must have looked into the part that President Obama has played in making Europe a much safer place by backing away from the plans of the Bush administration to establish a new anti-missile system in Europe because of Iran.

President Obama may not receive any recognition from Americans, but he has and is likely to receive more recognitions from Europe because of his backing away from the plan of the previous president that affects the security of the whole of Europe. It seems that the Swedish Committee considered it as a meaningful step of President Obama. There is every possibility that Russia nominated the President Obama for this covetous recognition. Now it would be extremely difficult for the President to go back.

Thursday, 05 March 2009 19:00 GFP Columnist - Dr. Stephen Gill

The accurate representation of the feelings, thoughts, moods, sights, ideas and a variety of emotions is a serious enigma which poets face. Their representations are about personal opinions that are in the mind. Without going into philosophical or logical depth, I call them the god within.

Language is inadequate to bring out the god within, because this god is intangible. In addition to a mastery over the language, communicators need special skills and movements of hands, raising of eyebrows, changing tones, shrugging of shoulders and other gestures. Still, communications are not fully accurate and are likely to be misunderstood. Verbosity does not help either. Communication becomes more difficult in poetry because it is a form of condensed expression.

Therefore, poets use symbols to represent the god within at a higher level and also to add beauty. They take the help of metaphors to represent the god within. Aristotle said that metaphor is the soul of poetry. Metaphor is a figure of speech that is used for implied comparison. I have used this device freely in my poetry, such as “sickles of bigotry,”1; “pilots of words”2; “snakes of personal migraines”3; “the albatross of intolerance”4; and “a pyramid of justice”5 to quote a few.

Symbol, a higher form of metaphor, comes from the Greek word sumbolon that means sign, mark and token. In Greek sumballein means to put together. Synonyms of symbolism include typology, metaphor and analogy. Symbolic poetry is visible expression of something that is invisible -- a marriage between abstraction and concrete. This device is used to express the hidden meaning veiled by the obvious meaning -- to express something that is abstract as tangible. This device is also used to express something that is tangible in another tangible way.


Monday, 01 September 2008 19:00 GFP Columnist - Dr. Stephen Gill

Normally, I forget numbers, especially years and dates. In spite of this weakness and a lapse of substantial time, the year 1999 is secure in the locker of my memory. One reason for its security is Shrine that was released by World University Press in 1999. Even in 2008, after nine years, Shrine resurrects traumatic feelings, touching the spots of deep pain from the days of the partition of India. This collection of my poems of social concerns is the turning point in my pilgrimage as a poet, because it received encouraging reviews and is still receiving encouraging. The year 1999 is unforgettable to me for this reason and also because the poems of this collection have appeared in more than one hundred publications and several have been translated in other languages.

The year 1999 is unforgettable also because of my visit to India after a long absence, and my return to Canada with weird experiences. For nine years I carried these experiences in the womb of my soul, debating whether to share or not to share, and when and how to share. Whenever I write about India, 1999 is there in the museum of my mixed feelings. When I plan to visit India, its ghost emerges. It is now my shadow.

In 1999 the BJP (the Bhartiya Janata Party) was in power in India. The BJP is the political wing of the RSS (Rashtriya Sewek Sangh). The RSS is the ideological parent of the BJP, the Bajrang Dal and a host of other organizations. It runs along the lines of the Nazi Party of Germany and is based on almost the same gospel.

I was invited by the Indian Association For Canadian Studies to present a paper on “Canadian Blueprint for Peace” at Himachal Prades University in Shimla. I was also invited by the Sahir Academy to receive an honour. Other invitations included a talk at the Meerut University; Khalsa College in New Delhi; an interview on Jalandhar Radio Station; and tea with a prominent writer, Dr. Shiela Gujral, wife of a former prime minister of India.

Saturday, 09 February 2008 19:00 GFP Columnist - Dr. Stephen Gill

A Flower of Passion from the Garden of Indo-Canadian Writing has dissappeared. On the 25th of January I thought of phoning Lino Leitao to pass on a piece of information that I had received from Dr. Rollason Christopher, , a professor of literature and a writer from France.

In his newsletter, Dr. Christopher wrote about the latest issue of Pegasus that carried an article by Lino about my poetry. I wanted to pass on this information to him.

Lino told me a few months ago that he was going for an operation. I considered that operation to be serious. But in the tone, words and the way Lino discussed some books with me and that operation, I detected no fear, or anxiety. Therefore I did not take his ailment and operation seriously. Apparently, he took his condition philosophically.  Lino was a philosopher, a visionary, but primarily he was a novelist and a short story writer. He was quite awake about his social, political and literary environment. I appreciated him for this factor as well.

Those who are involved with writing know that writing by its very nature is a lonely profession. Creative writers, including poets, have to be by themselves to create. When they are in social circles, they write on the canvas of their mind. Later when they are alone they put that on a piece of paper.


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