• Gems of Indian Poetry translated into English


  • Timeless Indian Poems now available in English language


Chandri Villa

Anand Thakore

His name was Chandri-my grandfather once said-
Who was to live here, but died of plague. Each of us fails
In the end, but I was born in a house built for the dead:
On the red gate they hammered his name with nails.

Nineteen Nineteen. These bougainvilleas
Have grown since then; the dead leave us, leaving no trails-
Deep in the banyan-grove at Chandri Villa,
A secret sense of loss prevails.

And the very stillness of these trees carries me past an April
Long dead, newly strewn with banyan leaves; thick roots dangle
Above my head-ancient, knotted roots I cannot untangle,
Till I am a child once again though against my will,

The wide grove closing its arms as it to kill;
My veins so many banyan roots twisted into one,
And all their tangled knots come undone,
Till almost I see him – the plagued man I never will.

Translated by

Love letters

Pratishtha Pandya

He sends me oceans
In an envelope.
A desert
As far as i can see.
Dry
Arid
Blue
Oceans not roaring
but mute.
Waiting
Unblinking
Restless for waves
Oceans
turbulent and still.
He sends me
These oceans
All frozen.
Right above
He paints
A rectangle
Same big blue
And dots it with care
And clouds
White
Soft
Fake.
He sends me
skies of blue
Not a sign of a bird or two.
For the sake of it
He puts a boat
That floats
Neither near or afar.
I blow
And breathe life into the sea.
I see waves carrying signs
Sudden
Strange
Uncertain
What are these love letters you send?
Why these
Oceans of blue sand?


પ્રેમપત્તર
--પ્રતિષ્ઠા પંડ્યા
એ મને પરબીડિયામાં
દરિયાઓ મોકલે
નજરુંના અંત લગી
ફેલાતા રણ જેવા
સૂકાભઠ્ઠ
કોરાકટ્ટ
ભૂરાભટ્ટ
દરિયાઓ ઘૂઘવે ના
મૂંગામટ્ટ
એકટક માંડીને મીટ જાણે
બેઠા એ લહેરોની લાહ્યમાં
સહેજે ના ઉછળે
એવા ઉચાટમાં થીજેલા
દરિયાઓ એ મને મોકલે
દરિયાની ઉપર એ ચીતરે
એક એવું જ મોટ્ટું
ભૂરું લંબચોરસ
ને સાચવી સાચવીને
ચોરસમાં ગોઠવે
ગોરાંચટ્ટ
પોંચાંપટ્ટ
ખોટાખટ
વાદળાં
પંખીનું હોય ના
જ્યાં નામો નિશાન
એ એવા આકાશ મને મોકલે
સમ ખાવા પૂરતી
એક મૂકે એ હોડી
જે વહેતી
ના આગળ
ના પાછળ
ફૂંક મારી
કરું ચિત્તરને જીવતું
તો લહેરો સંદેશા લઇ નીકળે
અણધાર્યા
અણઉકલ્યા
અણબુઝયા
આ કેવા તું કેવા તે પ્રેમપત્તર મોકલે!
તું શાને રેતીના દરિયાઓ મોકલે?

Translated by the Poet

Vadodara-Visarjan *

Neeti Singh

i)
My dress is made of rain
my heart a hooting pair of owlets
perched atop a banyan’s hat
.
Dusk has dropped a curtain,
a mask has slipped.
Come morning you don dappled joy
in polka dots and sunshine print.
A faded pair of Levi jeans, stilts for legs,
or a climbing pair of eucalyptuses -

slender marbled limbs,
stone washed…
You strut besides the lion’s enclave
in KamatiBaug*
.
It rains.
The garden hangs its monsoon frocks –
trees, climbers, flowers, frog -
a score of puddles and sky-falls raise,
with ordinary worm and amoeba,
a stage!
ii)
With mongrels you cross the road
and enter the Arts campus at four.
It raises its dome and wags a tail.
Floral grill gates patterned to protect -
Systems ancient – keep the Faculty intact.

Free as rows of seasonal rice –
tulips and a tank of water lilies design
garlands of restless choice.
Fluttering indecisions -
pigeons pendulum from bajra to tub.
Their friends in green frocks
are content however,
to peck the soil at Shiva’s shrine.

Praised be the elephant headed God,
its Visarjan-time!

Ganesha gambols through Vadodara’s veins,
flaunting with fetish, his feet to Bolly beats,
On truck backs and tempos he rides
off for an annual dive -
his ritual fun with frogs and fish and more.

The city arteries are agog,
Throb! throb!
O elephant-headed god O!
Through narrow streets, rain-washed,
moves His cake-and-carnival walk.
Brown men in wet skin and girls in skirts that cling and cling,
they frisk and flounder, they jump they joust.
The river of joy’s a-brim!
And burst the hunger of hope.

O Vighana-harataa*, O G’pati!
Sweeper of pain and paucity!
Off with the dregs and dogs of streets,
off with beggars, the teachers,
off with paper and plastic…
and all that titters with the litter, let sink.


Learn well your lessons,
fashion yourself in buffalo-hide,
gulp down with pepsi or diet coke,
coins of complaint and ego.


Your soiled Ganapati-soul,
you hold in a bowl at city crossings.
Sometimes you curl up at railway stations,
or eat bananas on uneven sidewalks.
There are days when you even become a girl
selling lemons and gulab* and marigold.

Immersed at last
in his liquid tomb, the Ganapati
meets sunset
and a host of aquatic kin.


In the shadows of the king that rides a dark horse,
the drenched city laughs,
it burps and releases a foul smelling fart.
Drums roll back upon tide-tongues,

we dunk him so we may live.
Visarjan is our insurance to wellbeing.
***
Notes:
*Visarjan – ceremonial immersion of the idol of Lord Ganesha / Ganapati.
*Vighana-harata – slayer of vighana i.e. slayer of hurdles and difficulties.
*Gulab – a rose.
.

Translated by

Let chandrakant be crushed to pieces

Chandrakant Sheth

let chandrakant be crushed to pieces
time rusts idly in his mind
scanty sky and earth
scanty air and light and water
all these lying decayed meaninglessly
he stains the mirror of time and place
let us efface the face of chandrakant
let him be scattered
                   and be earthed in the earth
he is a grave rock
he would not be tossed by the waves
though a thousand clouds may pour
he would be a dry land.
though vortex may blow
his sail would not be unfurled.
he stays swinging weighing anchor
having gorged thousand of breaths
he incubates shadows with shuteyes,
moss is gathered around his mind
a fish is fastened to a hook for a many years.
wherever he treads
he leaves behind cracks
chandrakant will pollute air, poison water
let all his ruins be flattened as early as possible
let the place be cleaned, be free from him
in his eyes
the sun turned out perfidious
                 and the day perfidious
                 the night perfidious
let chandrakant be ploughed hurriedly
let chandrakant be flattened like a field,
let chandrakant be crushed to pieces
let chandrakant be brought to an end.


ચંદ્રકાંતનો ભાંગી ભુક્કો કરીએ
...ચંદ્રકાંત શેઠ

ચંદ્રકાંતનો ભાંગી ભુક્કો કરીએ .
એના મનમાં ખાલી સમય સડે છે .

ચપટી નભ ને ચપટી માટી ,
ચપટી વાયુ , ચપટી તેજ ,
જરા મળ્યો તે ભેજ .

                   --બધું યે વ્યર્થ બગડે છે .
                    દેશકાળને દર્પણ એના ડાઘ પડે છે :
                    ચંદ્રકાંતનો ચહેરો ભૂંસી દઈએ ;
એને વેરવિખેર કરીને આ ધરતીમાં ધરબી દઈએ .
ભારેખમ એ ખડક .

                 નથી ઊછળવાનો મોજાંથી;
વરસે વાદળ લાખ ,
                 છતાં કોરીકટ એની માટી !
વંટોળો ફૂંકાય ,

                  છતાંયે એનો સઢ ન હવા પકડતો !
                   લંગર પકડી એ તો લટક્યા કરતો !

શ્વાસ કરોડો ઢીંચી ,
પડછાયા સેવ્યા છે એણે આંખો મીંચી .

ચંદ્રકાન્તના મન પર લીલ ચડી છે ;
એક માછલી , વરસોથી , કો ગલમાં બદ્ધ પડી છે .
કેટકેટલી તરડ પડી છે ,જ્યાં જ્યાં એનાં ચરણ પડ્યાં ત્યાં !
ચન્દ્રકાન્તથી હવા બગડશે ,

                                  જલમાં ઝેર પ્રસરશે .
એનાં જે ખંડેરો _એણે ખતમ કરી દો વ્હેલાં પ્હેલાં,
એને અહીંથી સાફ કરી દો વ્હેલાં પ્હેલાં:
એની આંખે સૂર્ય પડ્યાં છે ખોટા,

                   અને ત્યારથી દિવસ પડ્યાં છે ખોટા ,
                                         ખોટી રાત પડી છે :
ચંદ્રકાન્તને ઝટપટ હળથી ભાંગી ખેતર સપાટ કરીએ ,
ચં દ્ર કા ન્ત ને ભાં ગી કા ણ ક ણ ખ લા સ ક રી એ ...

Translated by Chandrakant Topiwala

Soul Song

ABHAY K

I was always here
as blowing wind
or falling leaves
as shining sun
or flowing streams
as chirping birds
or blooming buds
as blue sky
or empty space
I was never born
I didn’t die

Translated by
Pandu, The Masseur in Goa

Poet’s Will

Suresh Joshi

there is no tomorrow for me, perhaps,
tomorrow if the sun rises
tell him
a tear lingering to my shut eyes
is still there to be dried up.
tomorrow if the wind blows
tell him

a ripe fruit of a smile
stolen from a girl in adolescence
it still there to be dropped
from my bough

tomorrow if the sea surges
tell him
the deadly god
who is petrified in my heart
is still there to be shattered into pieces.

tomorrow if the moon rises
tell her
a struggling fish within
is
ready there to be released
by her hook

tomorrow if the fire lights up
tell him
a pyre of my pining shadow
is still there to be kindled
there is no tomorrow for me perhaps.

…..કવિનું વસિયતનામું
....સુરેશ હ. જોષી...

કદાચ હું કાલે નહિ હોઉં:
કાલે જો સૂરજ ઊગે તો કહેજો કે
મારી બિડાયેલી આંખમાં
એક આંસુ સૂકવવું બાકી છે .

કાલે જો પવન વાય તો કહેજો કે
કિશોર વયમાં એક કન્યાના
ચોરી લીધેલા સ્મિતનું પક્વ ફળ
હજી મારી ડાળી પરથી ખેરવવું બાકી છે .

કાલે સાગર છલકે તો કહેજો કે
મારા હૃદયમાં ખડક થઇ ગયેલા
કાળમીંઢ ઈશ્વરના ચૂરેચૂરા કરવા બાકી છે .

કાલે જો ચંદ્ર ઊગે તો કહેજો કે
એને આંકડે ભેરવાઈને બહાર ભાગી છૂટવા
એક મત્સ્ય હજી મારામાં તરફડે છે .

કાલે જો અગ્નિ પ્રકટે તો કહેજો કે
મારા વિરહી પડછાયાની ચિતા
હજી પ્રગટાવવી બાકી છે.
કદાચ કાલે હું નહિ હોઉં.

Translated by Chandrakant Topiwala

The Feather

Manoj Khanderia

the feather dropped from the birdwing,
comes down with the sky throbbingly.

the feather throbbingly dropped
carves some tiny forms in azure air.

the feather brim fully fills lonely courtyard
still the bird’s churping resounds in feather.

the feather sometimes floats in eyes
and heart-abiding bird come out.

the feather sinks in mysterious void of the sky
the feather dropped from the bird
is remembered by the bird.

પીંછું
.....મનોજ ખંડેરિયા

ગગન સાથ લઈ ઊતરે જે ફરકતું
વિહગ-પાંખથી જે ખરી જાય પીંછું

ફરકતું પડે ત્યારે ભૂરી હવામાં
ઝીણાં શિલ્પ કૈ કોતરી જાય પીંછું

હજી એમાં કલશોર ગુંજે વિહગનો
સૂનું આંગણું આ ભરી જાય પીંછું

હૃદયમાં વસ્યાં પંખીઓ બ્હાર આવે
કદી આંખમાં જો તારી જાય પીંછું

ગગનના અકળ શૂન્યમાં જઈ.ડૂબે, જે
વિહગને ખર્યું સાંભરી જાય પીંછું

Translated by Chandrakant Topiwala

Seminal Sunness

Adil Mansuri

the smeared sky trembles
in the hands of seminal moments,
trembles the slim sword of wind,
rust of dark time’s sticking to the sword.
city comes out of the rust breathingly.

city crowded with faceless persons
crowd spilt over with pale sunness,
sunness surrounded by seminal moments
seminal moments
with the smeared sky in the hands.

...............શુક્રિત સૂર્યતા
....આદિલ મન્સૂરી
શુક્રિત ક્ષણોના હાથમાં
ખરડાયેલું આકાશ ધ્રૂજે ,
ધ્રૂજે
હવાની પાતળી તલવાર ,
તલવાર પર
ચોંટી રહ્યો
કાળા સમયનો કાટ ,
કાટમાંથી
બહાર આવે
શ્વાસ લેતું શહેર ,
શહેરમાં
ચહેરા વગરના માણસોની ભીડ ,
ભીડ પર પથરાઈ પીળી સૂર્યતા ,
સૂર્યતાની ચોતરફ શુક્રિત ક્ષણો ,
શુક્રિત ક્ષણોના હાથમાં
ખરડાયેલું આકાશ ...

Translated by Chandrakant Topiwala

Sailor’s Song

Ramesh Parekh

away from the motherland
this morning in strange sea.
on a raft

some salty sand of past shore
and few bubbles of inference in hand
perhaps this wind is blowing
in the direction of my streets
perhaps there would be the flowers of
my non-being
on the sea-lavender of courtyard
perhaps my cottage would have been
remembering me.
it is the fate of eyes
that in an abyss of water
they must see this raft running into
an acquatic beast
here now i know the significance
of the blackthorn
island disappear even from my reverie
spring comes and goes away quietly
quietly spring comes and goes away
and it is not perceived in the absence of a tree
if it were possible
to establish sovereignty on the raft
I would have shut up this ocean somewhere

here it is so much heat
that even wind would be
dried up and dropped off.

now my awareness of ocean
would make me drowned
It is not so that my sensation are rusted
It is not so that i do not know someone
otherwise how can i remember
someone glances and age stand confused?

someday
did the village run swiftly
and keep the ruts behind on my palm?
was my village an ocean once?

o village
thou bloweth, not wind, in my marine-worlds?

after so many evening
after so many evening
after so many evening

before hands be tired
oars be slipped
would there be somebody
who would have been waiting for me
In this strange sea
and would say
“here ends your voyage”
And
would i hide my face in the bosom and cry?

ખલાસીનું ગીત
....રમેશ પારેખ ...
જન્મભૂમિ છૂટ્યા પછી અજાણ્યા દરિયામાં આ સવાર
અને તરાપામાં
વીતેલા કાંઠાની થોડી ખૂંખાર રેતી
અને હાથમાં અનુમાનના થોડાક પરપોટાઓ :
- કદાચ આ પવન વહી જાય છે મારી શેરીઓ ભણી ...
-કદાચ મારા અભાવના ફૂલો ઊગ્યાં હશે ફળિયાની બોગનવેલને...
-કદાચ યાદ કરતું હશે મને ઘર ...

પાણીની વ્યંજનામાં આ તરાપાને
જળચર બની જતો જોવાનું લખાયું હશે અહીં આંખમાં

હવે બાવળનો અર્થ સમજાય છે અહીં

દિવાસ્વપ્નમાંથી પણ ટાપુઓ ગાયબ
કોઈ વસંત આવીને ચાલી જાય ચુપચાપ
ચુપચાપ કોઈ વસંત આવીને ચાલી જાય
ને વૃક્ષના અભાવે દેખાય નહીં

તરાપા પર સ્થાપી શકાતું હોત સામ્રાજ્ય
તો આ દરિયાને ક્યાંક થંભાવી દેત

અહીં તો પવન સુકાઈને ખરી પડે એવો તાપ

હવે તો દરિયાની સભાનતા જ ડુબાવી દેશે મને
નહીં તો અનુભૂતિને કાટ વળી ગયો છે , એવું નથી
નહિ તો હું કોઈને ઓળખતો નથી, એવું નથી
નહીં તો એ કટાક્ષ કરે અને
સદીઓ ગૂંચવાઈ જાય તે મને કેમ યાદ છે ?
હથેળીમાં પૂરપાટ વન વહ્યું હશે તેના ચીલાઓ ?
મારું ગામ શું કોઈક દિવસ દરિયો હતું ?

હે ગામ.
પવન નહીં ,
શું આ તું વાય છે મારા જલપ્રદેશોમાં ?
અનેક સાંજ પછી
અનેક સાંજ પછી
અનેક સાંજ પછી
હાથ થાકી જશે
હલેસાં પડી જશે
એ પહેલાં અજાણ્યા દરિયામાં
મને એવું પ્રતીક્ષતું હશે કોઈ
જે મને કહે –
તારો પ્રવાસ અહીં પૂરો થાય છે...
-અને હું એની છાતીમાં મોં છુપાવી રડી પડું ?

Translated by Chandrakant Topiwala

Voices

Rajendra Shukla

here, it is something like a gross solitude
of ages
i live in city of voices
in an abode of voices
I, he decreprit, breathe voices
first of all I had created voices
then, when I had been going on constructing
the city of voices
almost all organ become voices
now the organs can perceive voices only.

the banner on the skyscraper of voices
being spread out steadily
in the splitting space of voices
in friction of moment, i recollect your silence.

i feel silence sliding nearby
if i try to touch it little bit with a finger
infinite cracklings of voices thereby.

voices, fearful sweating of voices
you, who are free of voices
if i were able to meet you
i would be able to meet me.

i am agonised by fixities of voices
if i were able to meet me.
i would be able to move from here.

somewhere there would be the edge of voices
somewhere there would be the horizon of voices
somewhere there would be the end of voices.
some secret of voices must be somewhere
some secret of voices must be somewhere
in thousandth lower region.

Oh terrible nails of voices
tear out the big belly of voices
belly tuff like time
belly rough like crocodile’s skin

perhaps then i can meet him
who abides in abode free from voices,
perhaps then i can meet him
who abides in abode of sometime
perhaps then i can meet him
in burning bloodstream of voices
voices of shattered- clattered heart.

….અવાજ
...રાજેન્દ્ર શુક્લ...

યુગો થકી સઘન એકલતા સમું અહીં
અવાજના નગરમાં વસતો,અવાજના
મકાનમાં જરઠ હું શ્વસતો અવાજને .
અવાજનો સમય તો ગ્રસતો અવાજને ,
રચ્યો,રચ્યો પ્રથમ મેં જ અવાજ ને પછી
અવાજનું નગર આ ચણતો ગયો ત્યહીં
થતાં ગયાં સકલ અંગ અરે અવાજનાં
અવાજને જ બસ ,અડકી શકે હવે .
અવાજના ગગનચુમ્બિત દુર્ગનો ધ્વજ
અત્યંત નિશ્ચલ કશો પ્રસરી રહે તદા
અવાજની તરડના અવકાશની ક્ષણે
ક્ષણાર્ધમાં સ્મરણ એ તવ મૌનનું મને
અવાજને નિકટથી સરતું લહાય , ને
જરાક જ્યાં અડકવા ચહું અંગુલી થકી
અનંત ત્યાં તડતડાટ થતો અવાજનો .
અવાજને સભય સ્વેદ વળે અવાજનો .
અવાજમુક્ત સ્થળનાં વસનારને તને
મળાય તો જ મળવું મુજને ય શક્ય છે ,
અવાજની અચળતા અકળાવતી , તને
મળાય તો જ અહીંથી ચળવુંય શક્ય છે .
અવાજના ઉદધિનો તટ તો હશે ક્યહીં,
ક્યહીંક તો ક્ષિતિજ્ જવું હશે અવાજને ,
હશે,હશે, મરણ જેવુંય હશે અવાજને,
અવાજનું ગુપિત ક્યાંક કશે,હજારમાં
પતાળમાં ગુપિત ક્યાંક હશે અવાજનું .
કઠોર આ સમય શા મકરત્વચાળવા,
અવાજના ઉદરને અવ ચીરવા મથો
અવાજના પ્રખર હે નખ ! તો કદાચ હું
અવાજમુક્ત સ્થળનાં વસનારને મળું ,
કદાચ હું ક્વચિતનાં વસનારને મળું ,
કદાચ હું હૃદયશીર્ણવિશીર્ણતા તણા
અવાજના ધધખતા રુધિરપ્રવાહમાં
અવાજમુક્ત સ્થળનાં વસનારને મળું...
કોમળ રિષભ માંથી

Translated by Chandrakant Topiwala

Where I Come From

Vinita Agrawal

I come from the sands
where words sprout like cacti
when girls are born.

I come from ochre, autumn-hued earth
baked dry under a fierce sun.
Where grit and wind needle the eyes
Where storms compel women
to live inside tombs of veils.

I come from a place
where dusk turns into a seductress by night
lying velvety warm on bohemian, linen charpoys.
I come from the land famous for making puppets
both from wood and flesh.
The wooden ones entertain children.
Flesh puppets entertain men - for life.

I come from a geography
where girls embroider silence,
unfurl quilts of wordlessness,
vast, like star studded desert skies.

Their quietude as deep as the space
where tears are born
high as the walls that keeps history in
subtle like the rivers that roamed these plains once.

Gurgling, buoyant ghaghra-clad girls
now untraceable, lost forever.
That's where I come from.

*********

Translated by

Quarrying the voice is not possible

Labhashanker Thakar

Quarrying the voice is not possible
Not can silence be lifted
My rebellious friends
We cannot inter our sauntering skulls
And we cannot seam our ashen anxieties
Then
Why plead before the barbed fence of this barren land
To let afloat our dreams like white swans?
It is true that taking advantage of our blurred sight
The trees have started flying.
But is it not true that we are cheated by the grant of eyes?
Weary friends, returning to the drudgery
After drinking a handful
from the lake water of the Muse’s eyes
It is true
That quarrying the voice is not possible
And silence cannot be lifted

Translated into English from Gujarati by Dileep Jhaveri



No es posible extraer la voz
Labhshankar Thakar

No es posible extraer la voz
el silencio no puede ser elevado
mis rebeldes amigos
no podemos inhumar nuestros cráneos ambulantes
y no podemos coser nuestras angustias cenicientas
entonces
¿por qué suplicar ante la valla de púas de esta tierra yerma?
¿dejar flotar nuestros sueños como cisnes blancos?
es cierto que aprovechando nuestra vista borrosa
los árboles han comenzado a volar.
¿pero no es verdad que somos engañados
por la concesión de los ojos?
cansados amigos, volviendo a la rutina
luego de beber un puñado
de agua lacustre de los ojos de la Musa
es verdad
no es posible extraer la voz
y el silencio no puede ser elevado

Traducido del inglés al español por Bernardo Massoia

Translated by Berni Sangit into Spanish from English
TERMITES WILL NOT GRAZE THE BLAZE

Aubade

R Parthasarathy

You wake up and slip quietly out of the room,
shutting the door behind you. Eyes closed,
I clasp your pillow in hopes of smelling out
the faintest trace of your body’s secret perfume.
Never before have I held you more closely
than I hold you now in your absence,
but you hug the morning paper to your chest
in the kitchen and wash it down with a cup of tea.


Aubade

Dúisíonn tú is sleamhnaíonn tú go ciúin as an seomra,
an doras á dhúnadh agat i do dhiaidh. Mo shúile druidte,
beirim ar do philiúrsa is mé ag súil
le boladh éigin a fháil ó chumracht rúnda do cholainne.

Ní raibh greim chomh docht riamh agam ort
is atá anois is tú as láthair,
ach cuachann tú nuachtán na maidine le d'ucht
sa chistin is tae agat á shlogadh siar.

Translated by Gabriel Rosenstock into Irish from English

Immortality

Amanda Bell

To make durable Writing on Paper,
dissolve gum-arabic in water,
and add thereto ivory black
– extremely well ground –
and write therewith.

Acids cannot discharge this writing;
and if you wish to secure it
against the steams of hot water,
the writing may be covered
with white of egg, clarified.

To revive old Writings
which are almost defaced,
boil gall nuts in wine;
then steep a sponge into the liquor,
and pass it on the lines of the old writing:
by this method the letters
– which were almost undecipherable –
will appear as fresh as if newly done.

Neamhbhásmhaireacht

Chun Scríbhneoireacht ar Pháipéar a dhéanamh marthanach,
leáigh guma arabach in uisce
agus cuir leis sin eabhardhubh –
an-mheilte go deo –
agus bí ag scríobh leat.

Ní ghlanfadh aigéid an scríbhneoireacht seo:
dá mba mhaith leat í a chosaint
ar ghal ó uisce te,
is féidir an scríbhneoireacht a chlúdach
le gealacán uibhe, léirghlanta.

Chun sean-Scríbhinnní atá beagnach millte
a athnuachan,
beirigh cnó-ghál i bhfíon,
cuir spúinse ar maos sa leacht ansin,
is cuimil ar línte na seanscríbhinne é:
ar an mbealach sin beidh na litreacha
- a bhí doléite geall leis –
chomh húr is dá mbeidís nuascríofa.

Translated by Gabriel Rosenstock into Irish from English

FOREST POEM

Vasant Joshi

Strokes of colours
On white canvas
Above all the black
Occasionally the moon would rest
Atop an erect pine
In the valley a gurgling spring
The forest inhaling the songs of crickets
Solitude rolling over the desolation
A patch a field on the slope
In the farm hut
A lantern lights up
The dawn of emerging day

આવતી કાલની સવાર /વસંત જોષી
સફેદ કેનવાસ પર
રંગના લસરકા
કાળો સૌથી ઉપર
ટટ્ટાર ઊભા સાગની ટોચે
કયારેક બેસતો ચંદ્ર
ઝરણું ખીણમાં ખળખળ
તમરાંના ગાનમાં
શ્વસતું જંગલ
એકાંતે આળોટતું સૂમસામ
ઢોળાવ પર કટકો ખેતર
ખેતર શેઢે ઝૂંપડીમાં
ટમટમીયું માંજે
આવતી કાલની સવાર

Translated by Dileep Jhaveri from Gujarati

POETRY

Chinu Modi

With your mere touch
Numbness spreads in my senses
Breathing becomes strenuous
And you burden me with bother of every moment
Knowingly I refuse to taste the nectar
And you set a jar of ambrosia before me
Why are you doing this?
I am awarded servitude to Time god
Generation after generation
Not only during the day
I also keep serving Time-god at night
Do not distract me
You come at your will
To show me the chariot ride
From dew to florescence
The fluctuations of flowery fragrance
Why are you doing this?
Do not command bird-trilling to build nests
Do not gift an eighth colour to the vibgyor
Do not uplift the heel of wind’s sandal
The earth is a ball
Agreed
But do not hit it beyond the boundary
Do not seek to supply specs for every eye of the sky
Is there no one to challenge you?
Why are you doing this?
Ever since I came to senses
I have suffered your shenanigans
Relent now, please, Poetry!

Translated by Dileep Jhaveri from Gujarati
POET

POET

Chinu Modi

He can digest full mountains
Quaff the ocean in a gulp
Can pitch the air in a sling
And swing it and whirl it
What a wizard he is
who would raise the lid
and stuff the whole sky in a casket !
With his mere shadow
he can ravish the earth
like dung stuck with a rod
He can douse fire
with his scorching piss
He is a poet
For him everything is a sleight of hand
What he has I do not have
I have a coin with a hole
grossed with great difficulty
by begging
My breaths, earned just, have slipped away
from the hole of the beggar's coin
I am stuck like a scooter
coughing scarcely after a hundred kicks
Like the easily peeling off
Boiled potato skin
I am a goody goody compromising guy
I am a flickering lantern
I am a plain ninny
How do you survive within me O poet!

Translated by Dileep Jhaveri from Gujarati
POETRY

From Bombay Central

Gieve Patel

The Saurashtra Express waits to start
Chained patiently to the platform,
Good pet, while I clamber in
To take my reserved window seat
And settle into the half-empty compartment’s
Cool; the odour of human manure
Vague and sharp drifts in
From adjoining platforms.
The station’s population of porters,
Stall-keepers, toughs and vagabonds relieve themselves
Ticketless, into the bowels of these waiting pets;
Gujarat Mail, Delhi Janata, Bulsar Express,
Quiet linear beasts,
Offering unguarded toilets to a wave
Of non-passengers, Bombay Central’s
In-residence population.

That odour does not offend.
The station’s high and cool vault
Sucks it up and sprays down instead,
Interspersed with miraculous, heraldic
Shafts of sunlight, an eternal
Station odour, amalgam
Of diesel oil, hot steel, cool rails,
Light and shadow, human sweat,
Metallic distillations, dung, urine,
Newspaper ink, Parle’s Gluco Biscuits,
And sharp noisy sprays of water from taps
With worn-out bushes, all
Hitting the nostril as one singular
Invariable atmospheric thing,
Seeping into your clothing
The way cigarette smoke and air-conditioning
Seep into you at cinema halls.
I sink back into my hard wooden
Third-class seat, buffered by
This odour, as by a divine cushion.
And do not suspect that this ride
Will be for me the beginning of a meditation
On the nature of truth and beauty.

Translated by
Squirrels In Washington

Squirrels In Washington

Gieve Patel

Squirrels in Washington come
Galloping at you in fours, then brake
To halt a few feet away
And beg on hindquarters.
No one stones them,
And their fear is diminished.
They do halt, even so,
Some feet away, those few feet
The object of my wonder. Do I
Emit currents
At closer quarters? Are those
The few feet I would keep
From a tame tiger? Is there
A hierarchy, then, of distances,
That must be observed,
And non-observance would at once
Agglutinate all of Nature
Into a messy, inextricable mass?
Ah Daphne! Passing
From woman to foliage did she for a moment
Sense all vegetable sap as current
Of her own bloodstream, the green
Flooding into the red? And when
She achieved her final arboreal being,
Shed dewy tears each dawn
For that lost fleeting moment,
That hint at freedom,
In transit, between cage and cage?

Translated by
From Bombay Central

Terror Sequence

A J Thomas

New Delhi, 13 September 2008, 6.21 pm

The first newsflash must have been
Beamed about 6.40 pm
As my brother called me up from Kerala
To see all was well with me and mine.
Bombs, he said, had gone off
At Gaffar Market Karol Bagh,
Central Park Connaught Place,
Barakhamba Road, M Block Market GK I.
At first count the figures were
20 injured
Soon it rose to 30-40
Within a few minutes
3 dead
Then
5 dead
7 dead
10 dead
I switched off the TV.

28 and Counting

28 blank picture-masks
In the TV screen
To get a face each…..
A pretty face…
A distraught face…
A ravaged face…
All the rest
Contorted in mortal pain,
Stilled
In a deadly freeze-shot….
Young men, earnest
In grisly irony
Carrying
A pretty body
Limp, lifeless
The shapely legs,
The slender waist and the buxom
Bosom and comely face
TV cameras instinctively zooming in on…..

The Terrorist’s Mind


When he wages a war
He must certainly have
His enemies in his sights.
So, when a two-year-old bundle
Of blood and tender bones shudders lifeless
In a rescuer’s hand
Does the terrorist score off
A name from his list?
Does a face loom up in his mind?
When an 80-year-old patriarch
Lies like a sieve
Bleeding from hundreds of
Pellet wounds,
Which Merciful God
Is the terrorist propitiating?

Saturday, 27 September 2008, Delhi

The mobike snaked its way through
The narrow, crowded gali
And the pillion rider seemed to drop a parcel
Accidentally. The four-year old
Girl-child picked it up and ran after
The slow-moving bike
Piping, “Uncle, uncle
You’ve dropped something,
here it is…” Before she could complete,
smoke came out of the parcel
and the explosion blew her to bits,
her tender brain scattering all around….
This was at 2.30 pm and
The TV visuals repeating
The scene of the disconsolate mother
From whose finger the child
Wrenched herself away
Being forcibly lead towards elders
As she refuses to leave the spot…
This is another Saturday
Fifteen days exactly after 13/9.

My heart is hardened like a criminal’s


i can’t fail to remember it isn’t me out there…
somehow i manage to be not there
i escape nuclear bombs
and rise like a cockroach
the day after the n-holocaust…
i escape earthquakes
and thrive on the debris,
looting what is left…
i escape all accidents, bomb-blasts
all my limbs intact
my heart rubberised.
victory to the great survivor!

I Wanna Go Home

My heart yearns
To go back to my childhood greens.
To the tiny mauve flowers
The succulent eraser-weed stems
The tear-drop grass-roots
Hanging below the tiny gushing cascade
In the rivulet…
The cracker-grass shoots…
The dragon flies…
The hosts of mist rising to the cerulean skies
The giant silk-cotton tree
Glowing at dusk…..
I don’t want to see this cityscape
I don’t belong here…
I don’t want civilization…
Let me run far, far back.,..
Farther and farther,
Till I fall back on earth’s pristine bosom.

Translated by

My granny's mother

Dhiruben Patel

My granny's mother
Had a lovely sari
It was the colour of clay
Its golden edge
Caged in the flowers
Running here and there
Daily wash and daily wear
Just strengthened the sturdy silk
It was the priestess' robe,
Worn only when she entered
Her Holy kitchen
To prepare the daily meal.

મારાં દાદીનાં માની

એ સાડી કેવી સુંદર હતી!
માટીના રંગ જેવા વિપુલ વિસ્તારને છેડે
ચમકતી સોનેરી કિનાર!
એની અંદર પુરાયેલાં
રંગબેરંગી ફૂલો આમતેમ દોડાદોડ કરતાં હતાં.
એ સાડી દરરોજ વપરાતી
ને દરરોજ ધોવાતી.
એના મજબૂત રેશમી પોતમાં
પ્રતિદિન નવો પ્રાણ પુરાતો.
એ હતો પૂજારણનો પોષાક.
એના પવિત્ર રસોડામાં
હંમેશાં રસોઈ કરવા
પગ મૂકતી વેળાએ જ પહેરવાનો.

Translated by

Prayer

Prabodh Parikh

Grant me the strength to look at you, to bear the radiance
of the sun;
the strength to alert faraway ships by my drumbeats,
to be a pearl diver,
to drive a toy-train,
to survive a famine,
to extract the magic potion from the tresses
of the enfant femme.
Grant me, once more, an illusion.
And though I am no Socrates,
grant me the vision to hear, to swim
in the currents of the landscapes of French poets
which, half-open, float away in my blood.

Grant me an alphabet
of airplane and city,
which would let me sit by an ageing grandmother.
Grant me, once more, the illusion
of a ladder
to climb to You,
to me.


Translated from Gujarati by the Poet

પ્રાર્થના.

મને તારી સામે જોવાની શક્તિ આપ,સૂર્યનું તેજ ઝીલવાની
નગારા પાર સુદૂરનાં વહાણો બોલાવવાની
મરજીવા થવાની
રમકડા-ટ્રેન ચલાવવાની
દુકાળ ઓળંગવાની
infant femme ના વાળમાંથી જાદુઈ જડીબુટ્ટી શોધવાની.
મને ફરી, એક ભ્રમ આપ.
હું સોક્રેટિસ તો છું નહીં,
મારા લોહીમાં વહેતા અર્ધ ખુલેલા
ફ્રેન્ચ કવિઓના લેન્ડ સ્કેપમાં
તરી શકું, સાંભળી શકું તેવી દૃષ્ટિ આપ.
બારાખડી આપ
વિમાનની,શહેરની
વૃધ્ધ દાદીમા પાસે બેસવાની
મને ફરી એક ભ્રમ આપ,
તારા તરફ
મારા તરફ ચડવાની એક સીડીનો

---પ્રબોધ પરીખ


Paidir
Prabodh Parikh

Bronn orm an neart chun breathnú ort, gile
na gréine a fhulaingt;
an neart chun rabhadh a thabhairt do longa i gcéin
lem' dhrumadóireacht, a bheith im' phéarladóir,
traein bhréige a thiomáint,
teacht slán as gorta,
íocshláinte a bhaint as trilseáin
an enfant femme.
Bronn orm, uair amháin eile, seachmall.
Agus bíodh is nach Sócraitéas ar bith mé,
bronn orm fís éisteachta, chun go snámhfainn
i sruthanna thírdhreacha na bhfilí Francacha,
iad leath ar oscailt, ar snámh i mo chuid fola.

Bronn orm aibítir
an eitleáin agus na cathrach
a ligfeadh dom suí taobh le seanmháthair chríonna.
Bronn orm arís eile dréimire
mar sheachmall
chun go ndreapfainn Chugatsa,
chugamsa.

Translated by Gabriel Rosenstock into Irish from English

A MODERN DAY MEDITATION

Nitin Mehta

Not all the devils
are cruel, depraved and treacherous
all the lime.

Some of them are quite different.

Some, if fact,
rest under the watch on your wrist
go through their ablutions in the morning,
breathe deep the fresh breeze that blows from the river
and remain silent with their eyes shut.
Sometimes, they meditate
on the words of wisdom
that the saints have spouted.
It is true
that the shadows of these saints
suffer from bouts of relentless coughing
When these devils
who did not know their caste or past
start flapping their wings furiously
like papers fluttering on the writing table.
Wings that look like a sky trapped inside a paperweight.

But sometimes
on an orange afternoon
even as you are turning on your side in the siesta,
a match stick sets your ear on fire
and a rotten, half eaten apple
bursts out under the wrist watch
With a gush of blood.
The sky frozen in the paperweight is torn apart,
shadows turn into bubbles,
bangles are broken,
virginity is lost,
and sobs choke and control the air around.
Right then,
The note paper and the table
fly out
in search of their origins
They curl up, burning in from all corners.
Like broken branches
they fall on the ground.

This is what happens.

Nothing more to it than that.
Only when the devil has removed his rotten molar
or
when the left side of the saint is aching
or
when the actors forget their lines
only then, something else
actually starts happening.

But the orange afternoon
has a different story to tell
at least
for now


એક કાવ્ય

બધા જ શેતાનો કંઈ દર વખતે
ઘાતકી ક્રૂર અને હરામી નથી હોતા
કંઈ બીજું પણ હોય છે

કેટલાક તો કાંડાઘડિયાળ નીચે
દબાયેલી રુંવાટીમાં બેઠાં બેઠાં
વહેતી નદીમાંથી આવતા પવનમાં
સ્નાન કરતાં
આંખ મીંચી ચૂપચાપ આખો વખત
પડ્યા રહેતા હોય છે
તો ક્યારેક સફરજન ખાતાં ખાતાં
સંતપુરુષોનાં વચનોય મમળાવતા હોય છે

આ શેતાનો
કે જેને પોતાના કુળમૂળની ખબર નથી
એવા ટેબલ ને કાગળ જેવા
પેપરવેઈટમાં પુરાયેલા આકાશની જેમ
પોતાની પાંખો ક્યારેક ક્યારેક
ફફડાવે છે ત્યારે
સંતોના પડછાયા ખોંખારા ખાય છે
એ વાત પણ ખરી
પણ કોઈ વાર
આછી ઊંઘમાં
પડખું ફરતાં
કાનની નીચે
દીવાસળી ચંપાય
ને બટકું ભરેલું અડધું કોહવાયેલું
સફરજન
ઘડિયાળમાંથી લોહીના ફુવારા સાથે
ઊછળી આવે
પેપરવેઈટમાં થીજેલું આકાશ
વીજળીથી ચિરાઈ જાય
ને પડછાયા પરપોટા થાય
બંગડીઓ તૂટે
શિયાળ છેદાય
ડૂસકાંઓથી હવા તરડાય
એ જ પળે
પોતાના મૂળિયાં શોધવા ઊડેલાં
કાગળ ને ટેબલ
કપાઈ ગયેલી ડાળી જેવાં કોરમાંથી કજળેલાં
જમીન પર પડે
એટલું જ

હા એ તો
કોઈક વાર
શેતાને દાઢ પડાવી હોય
કે
સંતને ડાબે પડખે દુખાવો ઊપડ્યો હોય
અને પાત્રો ઘણી વાર સંવાદ ભૂલી જાય
ત્યારે જ જે જે હોય તે અન્ય બને
બાકી
પીળી ઝાંયવાળી નારંગી બપોરની
વાત જરા જુદી છે
હાલ તો .

- નીતિન મહેતા

Translated by the Poet from Gujarati

Sitting by a window

Babu Suthar

Sitting by a window
With a cracked plate glass. I gaze out:

A stark blank
Flowing in my flesh and blood
Even reigns outside.

A moon hangs in sky.
Stars like dead worms
Their wispy moustaches wave in wind.

Seven corpses
Of my last seven births
Float in the milk of my milky way

A worm bigger than me
Struggles to wriggle
Out of my navel.

I sit back
And keenly watch
A game:

Within me
And
Without
An elephant holding a lotus in his trunk
Drowns in a puddle.

A hawk
High-up
A rock
Hollowed out.
A wound rides on its back.
Interminable void gushes within me
And pours out.



આવું કેમ થયું ?
કાગળ પર
ગામનું નામ લખ્યું
કે
અક્ષરો મેરૈયું બનીને
ઝળહળી ઊઠ્યા,
કપાળમાં ચાંદો
તાપોલિયું બનીને
ઝલમલવા લાગ્યો.
કાગળમાં ઊગી નીકળ્યો અજવાળાનો મોલ
મનની નાડીઓમાં ઘસઘસાટ ઊંઘતો
કુબેરિયો ભગત જાગી ગયો અને ગાવા લાગ્યો
અંજવાળું અંજવાળું આજ મારે...

આવું કેમ લાગે છે
આજે?
હૈડિયે દાસી જીવણ
આઈ બનીને ફૂટ્યો હોય
એવું
કેમ લાગે છે?

ગામ લોકોએ
ગામ છેડાની માતાએ
ગાગરો ચડાવી હશે
કે પછી
ખેતરના શેઢે
કાચંડીએ મેઘધનુષ જણ્યાં હશે.
કે પછી
બોડીને શિંગડે વાલોળના ઝૂમખાંની જેમ
તારા મંડળ
ઊગી નીકળ્યાં હશે
કે પછી
મગનકાકાની વાવમાં
પધરાવેલાં દીકરો ને વહુ
ઘડીભર બહાર આવ્યાં હશે
કે પછી
આ કાનોમાતર કેમ વાગવા માંડ્યા છે
ભૂંગળો બનીને!
ક્યો ખેલ પાડ્યો હશે
તરવૈયાઓએ આજે?
કોઢમાં બાંધેલી ગાયોના માથાં
મારા ખભે ઘાસ થઇને
કેમ અડકતાં હશે?
શિવાલયની નંદીની પીઠ કેમ ઘસાતી હશે
મારા તળાવે !

ક્યારેય નહિ
ને આજે શબ્દોમાંથી
ડમરાની સોડમ કેમ આવે છે?
નક્કી ઘરના વાડામાં
નાવાના પથરા કને મેં રોપેલા
ડમરા
આજે મને યાદ કરતા હશે
નહિ તો ના બને આવું..
------બાબુ સુથાર

Translated by Dr Hemang Desai from Gujarti
HOMESICKNESS

Pandu, The Masseur in Goa

ABHAY K

My name is Pandu,
I am a masseur from Kolhapur,
the state of Maharashtra

I can do foot massage, head massage
I can massage your genitals
I have been massaging since past twenty years,
mostly Americans, English and Danes
but now the beach is full of Russians
and I don't know much Russian sadly

My fellow masseur met a Swiss woman
they got married and went to Switzerland,
now he asks me give him a massage (chuckles)

I work here only six months in a year -
October to May, then I go back to Kolhapur
to work in the fields, to grow vegetables and fruits

earlier I used to sell grass, opium and other drugs
not any more, it has become too dangerous
but don't worry, I still have some contacts

I can get you whatever you want - drugs, women
please let me give you a massage,
please don't tell anyone what I am telling you

the beach shack owner does not pay me
he does not give me food or any drinks
I pay extortion to the police every month

all I earn is from massages I do
so please let me massage you,
this time I've voted for the opposition

look at my finger tip, the dot of Indian ink,
they will give licences for five years
to run the beach shacks

Government did nothing much in the past six years,
I am building a home here in Goa, I have taken a loan
and have to pay a huge sum as interest every month

please let me give you a massage,
my family will die of hunger back in Kolhapur
be kind, take pity on me, let me give you a massage.

Translated by
Soul Song

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER IF I WERE ILLITERATE

NEERAV PATEL

While studying science,
Watching Newton's apple fall,
The first thought I had
Was to eat it.

While learning the lesson of social life
Watching the glass houses on Harijan Ashram Road
The first thought I had
Was to throw a stone.

While controlling thirst
Watching the water pot at the outskirt of village
The first thought I had
Was to raise one leg like a dog an piss in it.

The fox went to a city,
Accidentally fell in the dyer's tank
Became colourful and showed off posing as a king.
Rather than making stories from such points,
With multiple meanings
the last thought I had was
To remain illiterate.

Rather than studying an
d suffer awareness of
Insult, hate and atrocities,
And encourage the inactivity
It would have been better
If I were illiterate,
I would just strike a blow of aadi * on the head of the unjust
Or gulping mahudi ** I could have swallowed the insults.

* Wooden stick on which dead cattle are carried.
** drink made of mahuda



અભણ હોત તો સારું
*નીરવ પટેલ

વિજ્ઞાન ભણતાં ભણતાં
ન્યૂટનનું સફરજન પડતું જોઈ
મને પહેલો વિચાર એને ખાવાનો આવ્યો હતો.
સમૂહજીવનનો પાઠ શીખવા જતાં
હરિજન આશ્રમ રોડ પરનાં કાચઘરો જોઈ
મને પહેલો વિચાર
એમની ઉપર પથરો નાખવાનો આવ્યો હતો.
રિસેસમાં લાગેલી તરસને દબાવતાં
પાદરે માંડેલી પરબને જોઈ
મને પહેલો વિચાર
કૂતરાની જેમ એક પગ ઉંચો કરી
એમાં મૂતરવાનો આવ્યો હતો.
શિયાળ ફરતું ફરતું શહેરમાં આવી ચઢ્યું –
અકસ્માતે રંગરેજના કુંડમાં પડી ગયું –
રંગીન થતાં રંગમાં આવી ગયું –
જંગલમાં જઈ રાજા તરીકે રોફ મારવા લાગ્યું –
પકડાઈ જતાં પાઠ શીખ્યું –
એવા મુદ્દા પરથી
એક કરતાં વધારે અર્થ નીકળે તેવી વાર્તા લખવા કરતાં
મને છેલ્લો વિચાર અભણ રહેવાનો આવ્યો હતો.
ભણીને અપમાનની સભાનતાને પામવી
અને નિષ્ક્રિયતાને પોષવી
એના કરતાં તો અભણ રહીને અન્યાયીને માથે આડી તો મારત
કે મહુડી ઢીંચીને અપમાન તો ગળી ગયો હોત !

Translated by Ganpat Vankar from Gujarati

AHMEDABAD FROM FEBRUARY 27-28 TO MAY 2002

Saroop Dhruv

1. Pieces
Perhaps once again the corpse is breathing
My city once again has returned with blackened hands
Blood stained from head to toe
Wounds, lacerations, slashes, gashes and
Dripping tears are all stuck fast, inseparably scrambled
Its stinking, putrefying frame is left rubbing the eyes
When will this city take off its attire of rancour?
These shameless rags can cover nothing
Like its pieces
These rags sticking glutinously to its unrecognizable skeleton
And still, we, who are ashamed of nudity
If we cannot remove these disgusting rags,
Then what?
Do you want to see your body parts, Ahmedabad ?

2. Enmity
This – is there any feeling left?
It has become a malady – Hemophilia
But the patient is hardly aware
That the blood dripping is his own!

3. Who?
The blood has become ash
And still, these swords
They are eager, eager to penetrate – whom? why?
Who will pulverise these swords?
And collecting the fine fragments, melt them?
Who will fashion needles and would pump breath
Into sewing machines of these women?
From its scalding smelted sludge
Who will forge new anvil, hammer, axe, shovel, pans?
In the kitchen of these men's homes
In the tins and in the steaming pots
That will turn into cooked rice.
From this swirling steel
Who will curl the fists
Of the newborns in the relief camps
That would sway as hope for tomorrow?
Even in the blazing air?
Who?

4. History
This historical city
Is becoming a history
or the grass over the grave
of Time?

5. New meanings New References
"That one, this one, those people, them, all those, all of us"
Shall we have to comprehend
The associative meaning
This way now?
"Fire, smoke
Wound, lacerations severed limbs,
Peeled skin, exposed guts,
Bloated bodies burnt names
Pieces ….. pieces …… pieces ….. ash ….. ash ….. ash….. "

6. She
She has not lit the stove
For seventy four days
Is it because she is used to the charity?
Is it because she doesn't have a cent even?
Is it because there is no kerosene in the house?
Is it because there is no house?
Is it because there is no one left to eat?
Or perhaps
The fear of fire has spread to the very marrow of her bones
Whatever it may be
she has not lit the stove
for seventy four days

7. Sewing Machines
Salama, Noora, Naseem, Manju, Kesar
They are all given sewing machines
As charity
Yes that will fill the hungry bellies
But the torn and tattered rags
Of this city
Will there be a sewing machine
To mend them?
Where to find it?

Translated by Dileep Jhaveri from Gujarati

HOMESICKNESS

Babu Suthar

1.
The aroma of maiden rain
And I
Sit back and
Spread through each other.

Perforated by pattering raindrops
Sandy soil has become
A veritable sieve.

Fresh heat rashes
Have erupted on rock-skin.

In no time
It’ll pour down.
Grooves in roof-tiles
Will overflow with rivers.
Teen oxen will frisk on eaves.
In every single street
Bullocks will draw water
With sixteen tarila tied to their necks
In every single house
Cross beams will bathe to their heart’s content.
On walls
On tree trunks
On memorial stones
Gushing water
Would unfold
The signature of God’s predecessors.
Then rain would let up
Bright sky would unfurl
Like mother’s soft palm.
Sun would roll over
Tree trunks
Branches
Leaves
Petals.
Perched on the todlo

Left behind by slithering serpents
There a black-ant hightails away smiling
I ask: “Mr. Black-ant, where are you bound?”
“To Mahadevji’s shrine.: He replies
Butterflies hover over
Flowers and leaves
In Saptarshi-like clusters
Just then a ghuni passes by
Carrying mountains of Mother Zamzar
In tidy rows on its back
Ramde Viramade play gedidado on the leaf of purvadiya
Hanumanji’s eyes open
On the leaves of aakado
And close.
Just then
I espy a crimson fruit
Hanging from a giant cactus.
Slashing the scent of fennel seeds
Flowing from farms beyond cactuses
I gently pluck the fruit.
Remove thorns from its rind.
Peel it off.
Hardly had I put it in my mouth
When something went wrong
Fingers of mother and father
Ears of wheat and rice
And
The letters on my mobile phone
Got muddled up.

A cloud scudded in
And strutted away
Dealing a vilonet shove.
And with that
I got flung onto
Concrete roads again
Drifting flabbily in my shadow
Like a lopped-off branch
Drifting in floodwaters.

Glossary
Aaval; kind of plant, tanner’s cassia: cassia auriculata.
Akadiya: pl of Aakado: a kind of shrub, calotropis gigantia
Ghuni: a blind reptile or a serpent with two mounts.
Gedidado; a native game played with stick and ball.
Puvadiya: pl of puvad which is a native plant found in monsoon
Dodi; kind of a creepr found in hedges; leptadenia reticulate
Ramdeviramde; two brothers called Ramdeo and Viramdeo adored as saints by locals.
Saptarshi: the constellation of seven stars representing seven sages, viz. Marichi, Atri.
Agnisar, Pulatsya, Pulaha, kratu and Vasishtha
Zamzar: in local lore, ‘Zamzar’ is a goddess, the sister of another goddess called “Kaleshari’.
Whose temple stands near Lunawada in Gujarat. Kaleshari (so called because she has sixteen
Children) used to keep her children placed on her own body. When she gave birth to sixteenth
Child, she hadno place left on her body to accommodate it. Since Zamzar was childless, she
Asked her to give that child to her but Kaleshari refused to do so and placed that child on her own nose. Zamzar felt bad and came to a mountain near the poet’s village, which is now known as Zamar mountain.


ઘરઝુરાપો
.....બાબુ સુથાર

પહેલા વરસાદની સોડમ
અને
હું બેઠાં છીએ
એકબીજામાં આરપાર .

વરસાદના પહેલા છાંટાથી જ
ધૂળ ચાસણી જેવી થઇ ગઈ છે .

પથ્થરોને અળાઈઓ ફૂટી નીકળી છે.

હમણાં મેઘો ખોંધો થશે,
નળિયે નળિયે નદીઓ છલકાશે,
નેવે નેવે રેલાં દોડશે .
ફળિયે ફળિયે સાત સાત તરીલે બળદ
પાણી તાણશે .
ઘેર ઘેર મોભ ડીલ ભરીને નાશે .
ભીંત પર ,
થડ પર ,
પાળિયે પાળિયે
પાણીના રેલા
ઈશ્વરના પૂર્વજોના
હસ્તાક્ષર બનીને ઊઘડશે .

પછી મેઘો થોભશે,
આકાશ ઊઘડશે
બાની હથેળી જેવું .
વ્રુક્ષોના થડ,
એમની ડાળીઓ .
એમની પાંખડીઓ ,
એમનાં પાંદડાં પર
સૂરજ ગોળમટાં ખાશે .
ઘેર ઘેર
ટોડલે ટોડલે મોર ટહુકા કરશે ,
ગામના ફળિયે ફળિયે ઢેલ
નવોઢા બની માથે બેડું મૂકીને
પાણીને સંચરશે.
વૈતરણી નખ જેવડાં તળાવ બનીને
ઢોળાઈ જશે થોરના લાબોળિયે લાબોળિયે.

જીવ અને શિવને એક સાથે
આઠમ અને અગિયારસ બેસશે ,
મંકોડાઓની પીઠ પર
ચાંદો ઊગશે
અને
અળસિયાં માથે મુગટ
અને ડીલે જરકશી જામા પહેરીને
બહાર નીકળશે .

આજે ન થવાનું થશે
આજે પહેલા વરસાદની સોડમ
અને
હું
બેઠાં છીએ
એકબીજામાં
આરપાર .

Translated by Dr Hemang Desai from Gujarti
Sitting by a window

The quivering of purple petals

Rochelle Potkar

My grandfather was the biggest drunk. In the village of bougainvillea, Assagao.
He created lore through his breath and burp, laced with alcohol.

Now the roads are bare and barren, tumultuous in their climb.
There is one dusty Kadamba state bus that we get off from.

We walk toward Mr. Dias’ home. Good man of the village,
father of three with a story of his avant-garde love marriage that is now passé.
His garden is the largest, with sprawling tropical flowers.

He invites us to tea or wine, but not to stay in his large empty house of unused rooms.
‘There is no hotel in Assagao, not even a homestay. No tourists come here,’ he says.
There is nothing, but history amidst its living, listening ears.
… the pain of memory against last names, ancestral houses.

My mother tells me my grandfather’s house fell to ruins, and had to be sold for a pittance.
I hear tales from Uncle Dias that my grandfather wrote long pages of poetry,
he wrote plays for the church,
he went to Portugal and returned with shining beads for all the women.

summer gloam –
turning coats
into tales

From my mother, I hear of how he drank night and day and beat up everyone.
How she and her brother ran around on the bunds, loafing in lanes, floundering in their Portuguese,
and how she swam with the buffaloes in the stream, or climbed trees and fell like an orphan.

We hear stories, contradictory sometimes, time-lapsed, un-chronicled,
and not of my grandfather after a while as much as of memories refined and redefined,
salted, marinated, left to dry in the hot Goan sun.
Plucked like flesh of salt fish and eaten with boiled curry and rice.

I don’t recall my grandfather. He died a year before I was born.
I don’t visualize what it would have been to know him.
Drunk? A poet? Or was he someone else? Did poetry and liquor fill up his glass? Differently?
Stories, sometimes, are better. It fills us up like water.
Distance, the best carrier, time, the best editor.

creation theories . . .
rumours of how
we were born


Crith na bPeiteal Corcra
Rochelle Potkar

B’é mo sheanathair an pótaire ba mhó i sráidbhaile an bougainvillea, Assagao.

Chruthaigh sé seanchas le gach anáil is brúcht, alcól tríothu.
Lom sceirdiúil anois iad na bóithre, a ndreapadh is achrannach.
Tá bus deannachúil amháin, bus stáit Kadamba, óna dtuirlingímid.

Siúlaimid i dtreo thigh Mr Dias. Fear ceart na háite,
Triúr páistí aige agus scéal aige faoina phósadh grá atá passé anois.
Is aige atá an gairdín is mo, bláthanna trópaiceacha ar fud na bhfud.

Cuireadh chun tae nó chun fíona uaidh, ach ní chun fanacht san áras folamh is na seomraí ann nach n-úsáidtear riamh.
‘Níl aon óstán in Assagao, ná cónaí le teaghlach ann. Ní thagann turasóirí anseo,’ ar sé.
Níl faic ann ach stair i measc na gcluas beo is iad ag éisteacht
. . . pian na cuimhne, sloinnte, tithe sinseartha.

Insíonn mo mháthair dom gur thit tigh mo dhaideo as a chéile agus bhí orthu é a dhíol ar phinginí.
Cloisim scéalta ó Uncail Dias go scríobhadh mo dhaideo leathanaigh fhada filíochta,
Chumadh sé drámaí le haghaidh na heaglaise,
Chuaigh chun na Portaingéile agus d’fhill le coirníní lonracha do na mná go léir.
clapsholas samhraidh –
cótaí á n-iompú
ina scéalta

Cloisim óm’ mháthair go n-óladh sé ó dhubh go dubh agus gach éinne á bhatráil aige.
I féin agus a deartháir ag rith thart ar na bunds, ag máinneáil thart ar na lánaí, ag streachailt lena gcuid Portaingéilise,
Is mar a shnámhadh sí leis na buabhaill sa sruthán, nó crainn a dhreapadh agus titim mar dhílleachta.

Cloisim scéalta, frithráiteach ar uairibh, aga-dheighilte, neamhchroinicithe,
Agus ar ball ní faoim’ dhaideo iad níos mó ach cuimhní scagtha agus ath-shainmhínithe,
Saillte, maranáidithe, á dtriomú faoi ghrian gheal Goa.
Pioctha mar a phiocfá iasc saillte agus ite le curaí beirithe is rís.

Níl aon chuimhne agam ar dhaideo. Cailleadh é bliain sular rugadh mé
Ní shamhlaím conas a bheadh sé aithne a chur air.
Ar meisce? Ina fhile? Nó an duine eile a bhí ann? Ar líonadh a ghloine le deoch is filíocht? Ar bhealaí difriúla?

Is fearr, uaireanta, na scéalta. Líontar sinn ar nós le huisce.
An t-achar an t-iompróir is fearr, an t-am an t-eagarthóir is fearr.

teoiricí an chruthaithe . . .
ráflaí faoi conas
a saolaíodh sinn

Translated by Gabriel Rosenstock into Irish from English
Native place

Acorporal

Manisha Joshi

In front my eyes
Lies a writhing body
Of an animal or a bird
Or my own, I’m not sure.
As I watch that body in torment
I wonder about the idea of an abody,
One that knows not what pain is?
Here in front of my eyes
Lie inflamed muscles, twisted neck
Popped-out eyes and
Broken bones.
Dismembered limbs
Seem to be drained of all pain.
The source of pain,
Some gross body
Writhes in my consciousness
And knocked unconscious by pain
I mutter
In the language of buzzing bee.
The gross body, the source of pain,
Turns gargantuan gradually.
I look out it’s face
Amidst my dear ones.


અશરીર
મારી નજર સામે એક વળ ખાઇ રહેલું શરીર છે.
એ શરીર કોઇ પશુનું છે, પક્ષીનું છે,
કે પછી મારું છે, તેની મને જાણ નથી.
પીડાથી ત્ર્સ્ત એ શરીરને જોઇને થાય છે,
કેવું હોતું હશે અ-શરીર,
જેણે કયારેય વેદના જ નહીં અનુભવી હોય?
અહીં તો મારી નજર સામે છે,
સૂજી ગયેલા સ્નાયુઓ, મરડાઇ ગયેલી ડોક,
બહાર આવી ગયેલી આંખો,
અને તૂટી ગયેલા હાડકાં.
છૂટાં પડી ગયેલા શરીરના અવયવો
પીડા રહિત હોય તેવું લાગે છે,
પીડાનું સ્ત્રોત,
કોઇ સ્થૂળ શરીર,
વળ ખાઇ રહ્યું છે, મારા મનમાં,
અને હું, વેદનાથી બેહોશ થઇને,
લવારી કરી રહી છું,
બણબણતા જંતુઓની ભાષામાં.
પીડાનું સ્ત્રોત,
કોઇ સ્થૂળ શરીર,
હવે વિરાટ રૂપ ધારણ કરી રહ્યું છે.
એ શરીરનો ચહેરો હું શોધી રહી છું,
મારા પ્રિયજનોમાં.

-----મનીષા જોષી

Translated by Dr. Hemang A. Desai

TERMITES WILL NOT GRAZE THE BLAZE

Labhashanker Thakar

Not a dime in the purse yet rushed straight to the market
Who ? The Galoot's imagination.
Why ? To gobble a watermelon.
But watermelon in monsoon ?
So What ?
But in monsoon ……?
In reality he is actually chomping a cantaloupe
Believing it to be a watermelon.
And sniffing at the cantaloupe hums silently from the memory
'You are made just for me'
Sings and gambols also without moving an inch
Sitting merely in the chair without even batting an eyelid
And Johny – he alone asks
Why does this ass dance?
And he replies to himself only
Because there is no bridle before and no straps behind
That is why I dance
And loudly chortles within roaring like soaring ocean
It's true: Termites will not graze the blaze.


અગ્નિનેઊધઈઅડેનહીં

પાસે ન મળે કોડીને ઊભી બજારે દોડી
કોણ? તો કહે લઘરાની ઇમેજિનેશન
શુંકામ? તો કહે તડબૂચ ખાવા
એલા પણ શ્રાવણ મહિનામાં તડબૂચ?
તયેં?
ઝરમ રઝરમર વરસાદ પડે છે,
નેલ ઘરો ઊભો ઊભો ખાય છે, તડબૂચ.
એલા પણ શ્રાવણ….
ઇ નરિયાલિટી, ઈ ચીભડાને તડબૂચ માનીને ખાય છે, મનોમય.
ને ગાય છે, ચીભડાને સ્મૃતિથી સૂંઘીને, મૂક
કે જૈસે તુઝકો બનાયા ગયા હૈ મેરે લિયે…
ગાય છે ને પાછો નાચે છે :
સ્થિરસાવ, ખુરશીમાં બેઠો બેઠો, નિષ્પલક.
અને માળો પોતે જ સવાલ પૂછે છે.
કિસકાર નયેના ચત ગધ્ધા?
પોતે ને પોતે પાછો જવાબ આપે છે.
આગે નાથ ન પીછે બંદા
ઇ સકારન મૈંનાચત –
ને હસી પડે છે ખડખડાટ અંદર,
ઊછળતા સમુદ્ર જેવું રોરિંગ.
સાચી વાત : અગ્નિને ઊધઈ અડે નહીં.

Translated by Dileep Jhaveri from Gujarati
Quarrying the voice is not possible

Wounds

Manohar Shetty

For a year it was its home,
The sill and window behind
My bed, and each night I saw
The scattered grain had gone.
The guarded eyes, the torn wing
Like a neglected hedge,
Fluttered in greeting; then it
Flapped up to sleep, rocking
Precariously, as on a trapeze.

It became something of a friend
With its rhythmic murmuring.
Sometimes, tilting off
The window’s edge, it’s dribbling
Descents intruded on my
Avian dreams: birds perched
On my shoulders, birds
Feeding out of my hand, and
Skirring about in a cloud.

But that one night a livid
Flash broke through my head;
Five times it reeled over
As from a cliff, its wounded wing
Thrashing down the window,
Spilling squalls of feathers
On my pillow, uprooting me
From the tense moorings of sleep.

I remember the startled eye,
The pulsing, iridescent breast
As it flinched from the sharp slap,
And fell off the sill.
I remember it swerving, rising
Clumsily on its one good wing
To teeter on a roof’s rim,
Then drop like a stone.

I dreamt, then, of lame dogs,
Abattoirs, and pulped frogs.
Now several nights have passed,
And I have no dreams at all.

Translated by
Gifts

Gifts

Manohar Shetty

You unfold like starfish
On a beach, your touch
Stills the rumpled sea,
Hair plastered seaweed.

I come from the labyrinths:
Traffic lights park in my eyes
Before I cross, highways fork
And stream like veins in my hand.

You hunger for a blade of grass
In the welter of concrete,
I step on softening sand
Suspiciously. Together

We trace a bridge: you pick
A shell translucent as neon,
And I a tribal earring
Reflected in plate glass.

Translated by
Wounds

TO SON - M

Pranjivan Mehta

M – My son
When you were young
I used to tell you stories / tales of winged fairy
Do you remember?
At that time ,your curious face kept querying me
Does a fairy have wings?
I used to mumble yes / you took it as no
Years after years have passed
You matured and I settled in age
You got a fairy
And I rested finally in my story
The fairy moved here and there and everywhere
Presenting a peacock feather to everyone
Joy shimmering, blood corpuscles trilling
All of a sudden M-My son
The flight in the house went helter shelter
Feathers slithering in the air
I am wordless you are speechless
I stare around
You stare within this space in hope
House walls backyard roof everywhere
Blind light running in circles
Again your silent question
Surrounds me, seizes me
I am dumb / dense soundless meaningless
I stare at you / my self nothingness
I attempt to find the fairy of my tales there
And see
M – My son.

દીકરા મ. ને

દીકરા મ- ,
તું નાનો હતો ત્યારે
હું તને પાંખાળી પરીની વાત/વાર્તા કરતો.
યાદ છે તને એ વાત,અબઘડી !
ત્યારે તારો પ્રશ્નાર્થ ચહેરો
મને પૂછી રહેતો-પરી પાંખાળી હોય ખરી!
હું હકાર ભણતો/ તું નકાર ગણતો.

વર્ષો બાદ વર્ષો થયાં
તું વયસ્ક ને હું વયસ્થ થયા
તું પરી પામ્યો
હું ફરી મારી વાર્તામાં પૂર્ણ વિરમ્યો

પરી હરે ફરે /સહુને મોરપિચ્છ ધરે
આનંદ યોગ તરવરે/રક્ત અણુ કલરવ કરે
ત્યાં દીકરા મ-, એકાએક
એક દી બધું ઊડાઊડ ઘર મહીં
પિચ્છ પિચ્છ સરસરે હવા મહીં
હું અવાક તું અવાચ /હું તાકી રહું આસપાસ
તું તાકી રહે અવકાશ/આશ
ઘરભીંતપછીતછત બધેબધ
ઘૂમી ફરી વળે અંધ ઉજાસ
આજે ફરી પાછો મને તારો મૂક પ્રશ્ન
ઘેરી વળે / ભીંસ લે.
હું મૂક / મૂઢ વાચા વિહીન અર્થશૂન્ય
તાકી રહું તને /મને શૂન્યાકાશને
મથું મારી વારતા-પરી પેખવા પણે પણે
અને જોઉં તો
મ, દીકરા, તારી અક્ષ કૂખમાં તરવરે/ફરફરે

Translated by Dileep Jhaveri from Gujarati

Native place

Rochelle Potkar

Goa is a leitmotif of childhood May holidays.
A quartet of perspiring aunts cirlicuing their liquid syllables.

Small washed rooms opening to orchestras of husk and coir from attics and lofts
A sonnet of rain over maroon steps, stone sofas, and green weeping windows,
sandy-grained backyard ghazals of jackfruit, guava, and mango trees.

Catholic castes and Majorda beach-returnees behind gossiping grandmothers and aunts
(my mother was called scientist, an elder cousin-tourist, a single uncle-bebdo, a widowed aunt, ankwaar kodi)

A free verse of carved wedding fish of an aunt’s yesteryear wedding near a muddy déjà vu-ed water well.
An unripe mango, oozing blatant growing up languages in ballads of arresting tongues.

Owria, Mario, Maria - the neighbor’s children
who could walk fast and long through paddy fields, uneven roads without a muscle tear.

Goa was dragonfly caught in thick forest bush, painstakingly brisk, pinched at its tail,
biting at the bend of body – a Chant Royal, announcing the end of the holiday season
in raining June.

The same empty feeling of a house not being there
off Mae Dos Pobres church road, Nuvem.

A haiku of courtyard leaf lost over time,
a gleaming pebble etched wet on a wave receding.
A roof caved in of an old Portuguese bungalow,
where an Uncle saw it for a rehash of modernity:
stacks of cubby houses atop rows of reeking staircase
- an apartment building! (‘Like they have it in Bombay.’)
A tragedy of childhood memories always sold cheap,
and unquestioned.

Eulogy

Ode, ironical.

A blank verse, final resting place.

No matter what the disillusions be,
return to a promised land.

Elegy.

Notes:

(In Konkani)
*bebdo – drunkard
Ankwaar kodi – bland curry, in this instance, with no fish or prawn

Translated by
The quivering of purple petals

You, Enwrapped By Night

Vijay Rajguru

We could not bring the palanquin at the doorstep
But you could not come enwrapped by night

We passed through many incarnations and arrived
But you could not even cross just one threshold

We brought vermillion from the sun
But you could not apply it in the parting of you hair

We transformed the wind into a calligrapher
But you could not dictate even a couple of words

We confessed from the tower top
But you could not even bend your neck

Translated by Dileep Jhaveri from Gujarati

Hymn of Creation- Rigved

Prajapati

December 14, 2016

(Created for the WGBH “Poetry in America” Project
and recited on Dec 15, 2016, in interview with Lisa New
to honor Poet Allen Ginsberg’s eulogy to his mother
in his Kaddish entitled “Hymmnn”)


Nor there was unreal, or was there anything real,
Nor there was air, or was there any space, however small,
What was the covering? Who made it? Where was it?
Was there deep water everywhere? Mysterious, secret!

Nor was there death, neither was there rejuvenation,
No night, no day, no signal, nor there was any motion,
That One breathed itself,supported all by itself.
Nothing else was there! Alone, it sustained itself!

Darkness was there, covered in more void and emptiness,
Everything was water, undefined nothingness!
Covered in dense pitch darkness, the One rose by itself,
Born of its own prowess, by its omnipotence!

The desire arose in that primitive mind,
And, arose the primal seed, the first of its kind.
Poets sang and knew in their own presence,
The origin of everything lies in their unreal absence!

Oblique ray stretched across the water,
What was above and what did stay under?
Seminal forces begot might and the true nature,
Self-sustained in the beginning, became the holy future!

Who, after all, knows, who can discern?
How the process evolved, how the universe was born!
The gods have come after the fury of production,
Who would know the beginning, the first introduction!

Though the universe is created likewise,
Does He hold it together or is it otherwise?
One who surveys the universe from the high heaven,
He might know, or, Lo! He Might not even!

Translated by Bijoy Misra from Sanskrit

Signs of Urvasi

Kali das

Oh joy ! I see a hint of her. This way
Then went her angry beauty ! Lo, her bodiee
Bright green as is a parrot’ s belly, smitten
With crimson drops. It once veiled in her bosom
And paused to show her navel deep as love.
These are her tears that from those angry eyes
Went trickling, stealing scarlet from her lips
To spangle all the green. Doubtless her heaving
Tumult of breast broke its dear hold and, she
Stumbling in anger, from my heaven it drifted.

Translated by Sri Aurobindo from Sanskrit

The Tyger

William Blake

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


વ્યાઘ્ર,વ્યાઘ્ર ઝળહળ જ્વલંત
રાત્રિના અરણ્યો મહીં
કો’ હાથ અવિનાશી , કો’ નેત્ર
ઘડે કોણ તુજ કરાલ આકૃતિ ?

કો’ દૂરની ઊંડાઈએ, કો’ આભની ઊંચાઈએ
જલે તુજ આંખના અંગાર, કહે ?
ચડી કઈ પાંખે એણે સેવી મનોકામના ?
કયે હાથે સાહસી ઝાલ્યો’તો દેવતા ?
ક્યો સ્કંધ ? કૌશલ ક્યું ?
આમળી જેણે હૃદયની કંદરા ?
ને ધબકતું જ્યાં થયું તારું હૃદય
કયા પ્રચંડ હાથ ?કયાં પગલાં પ્રચંડ ?

કઈ હથોડી ?સાંકળ કઈ ?
હતું કઈ ભઠ્ઠીમાં મસ્તક તહીં ?
કઈ એરણ ?કઈ પક્કડ વિકરાળ
લલકારતી એ કાતિલ ભીંસને !

હેઠાં મૂકી શસ્ત્રો જ્યારે તારલા
સીંચતા નિજ અશ્રુથી સુરભોમને
શું એ સમય એ હસેલો ખુદનું કામ જોઈને ?
શું એ જ તારો સર્જનહાર બનાવ્યું ઘેટું જેણે ?

વ્યાઘ્ર, વ્યાઘ્ર ,ઝળહળ જ્વલંત
રાત્રિના અરણ્યો મહી
કો’ હાથ અવિનાશી, કો' નેત્ર
કરે સાહસ ઘડવા તુજ કરાલ આકૃતિ ?

Translated by Pratishtha Pandya

The Poem Maker

Gabriel Rosenstock

After throwing the computer on the dunghill
seek the leaves of the female palmyra
small, narrow, fibrous
and leave them to dry in the sun.
Then trim to appropriate size
shall we say (for this poem) 20 inches long
and about 2 inches wide.
Rub both sides of the leaf
on the sole of the foot
until the surface is smooth
then make a hole close to each end.
Holding the iron stylus in the right hand
push from behind with the thumb of the left hand.
Now write the poem.
When it is finished
blacken the incised letters
with charcoal paste
chanting all the while in gratitude to Saraswati
from whom all poems emanate.
=====================


An File
Tar éis duit an ríomhaire a chaitheamh ar an gcarn aoiligh
aimsigh duilleoga an phalmyra bhaineannaigh
caol, bídeach, snáithíneach
fág á dtriomú iad faoin ngréin.
Bearr ansin ina dtoisí cearta iad
abraimis (i gcás an dáin seo) 20 orlach ar fad
agus 2 orlach ar leithead.
Cuimil dhá thaobh na duilleoige
de bhonn na coise
go dtí go mbeidh an dromchla mín
déan poll ansin gar do dhá cheann na duilleoige,
Beir ar an stíleas iarainn sa lámh dheas
brúigh ón gcúl le hordóg na láimhe clé.
Anois scríobh an dán.
Nuair a bheidh deireadh scríofa agat
dubhaigh na litreacha greanta
le taos fioghuail is bí ag canadh
an t-am ar fad
mar bhuíochas do Saraswati
óna dtagann gach dán

Translated by the Poet

Here you will find English translations of poems written in Gujarati –poems that will compare well with some of the best in the world.

Gujarat is a state in India, and its language, Gujarati, is spoken by about 50 million people world-wide. Gujarati has a poetic tradition of seven centuries. The subjects of Medieval Gujarati poetry were largely religion and mysticism. Social reform and national awakening were themes for the nineteenth century. If compassion for the downtrodden was reflected in the early twentieth century, in later years poetry strived for beauty for beauty's sake. The Modern poet was disillusioned with city life if not distraught.

Gujarati Poetry is rich in variety - the long narrative poem, the devotional song, the lovey-dovey ghazal, sonnets and haikus, couplets, the prose poem ...

Read on. Allow us to amaze you.