• Gems of Indian Poetry translated into English


  • Timeless Indian Poems now available in English language


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

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

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

Manohar Trivedi

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

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

In the Land of Butterflies

Kunwar Narayan

I once had the illusion
that I had reached the land of butterflies
and a butterfly was chasing me.
I stopped
so she stopped too,
I looked behind me
so she too looked behind her,
and when I started running behind her
she too started running behind her
In fact, like me
she too was under an illusion
that she was in the land of butterflies
and someone was chasing her

Translated into English from Hindi by Apurva Narain

I dTír na bhFéileacán
Kunwar Narain

Bhíos tráth den bharúil aisteach
go raibh tír na bhféileacán sroiste agam
is go raibh féileacán sa tóir orm.
Stopas
agus stop sise leis,
d’fhéachas im’ dhiaidh
is d’fhéach sise leis ina diaidh
agus nuair a chuas sa tóir uirthi
chuaigh sise leis sa tóir uirthi féin
Go deimhin, mo dhála féin
bhí sise leis den bharúil aisteach
go raibh tír na bhféileacán sroiste aici
is duine éigin ina diaidh

Translated by Gabriel Rosenstock into Irish from English
On the Eighth Floor

Leviathan

Gabriel Rosenstock

Arrows do not make him flee, sling stones are like chaff to him. Tanakh

A whale came into the shallows of Machaire Rabhartaigh
all attempts at resuscitation failed
. . . trembling purple orchids among the dunes


They buried it fifteen feet below
but full of gas
it rose again

Holding their noses
they cut it into three
and re-interred it in the sand
. . .trembling purple orchids among the dunes


What had brought it in?
The Royal Navy:
“We were not in that area.
Furthermore, our sonar signals are not considered to be –”
. . . trembling purple orchids among the dunes


Music in the pubs was muted that night
a fiddle played a slow air
the moon came out, briefly,
Enbarr, the sea-god’s horse, was heard
thundering along the strand
his long white mane billowing
… trembling purple orchids among the dunes

Translated by
Broken bangle

WHAT DO YOU THINK ?

Sanskriti Rani Desai

Regularly
The guillotine of the horizon
chops down the day,
and the sun,
a severed head,
tumbling, rolls away from the trunk.
Surely the goddess is pleased :
a perfect day
With 32 lakshans*
offered up daily
by the ringing guillotine.
So many offerings
over thousands of years
and what has come of them?
So then …
are the sacrificial rites not right?
or the world unworthy of redemption?
or the sun short of 32 lakshanas?

Translated from Gujarati by Suguna Ramanathan and Rita Kothari

I mBosca na mBriathra

Dhúisíos go tobann oíche amháin
Agus chuir an radharc alltacht orm.
Bhí focal amháin ag teacht amach as focal eile,
As an dara focal, an tríú ceann . . .
Céad, dhá chéad focal ag éalú
As gach focal!
Bhí an seomra ar fad ag cur thar maoil le focail.
Chonaiceadar go raibh mo shúile ar oscailt,
Is ansin a thosnaigh an hurlamaboc.
Thug na focail go léir seáp faoi na boscaí briathra.
An cúigiú isteach sa cheathrú, an ceathrú sa tríú,
An tríú sa dara ceann.
Rugas go grod ar cheann de na focail a bhí ag éalú
Agus ar mise leis, ‘Cad é seo go léir?’
Ní osclódh a chlab ar dtús
Ach tar éis a thuilleadh fiosraithe, ar sé,
‘Bíonn craiceann ar fhocal ó am go a chéile,
Agus, tar éis tamaill, craiceann eile anuas air sin
Mar a bheadh bosca istigh i mbosca.’
Nuair a scaoileas dem’ ghreim scornaí air
Theith an focal lena anam.
Sular ghabh isteach i mbéal focal eile a bhí ag srannadh,
Ar seisean:
‘Tagann a mbrí reatha
Amach as an mbunbhrí
Istoíche
Chun sult a bhaint as a gcuid saoirse.
Bí cinnte nach gcloisfidh an focal sotalach
Atá i réim faoi seo
Nó tá ár bport seinnte.
Coinneoidh tú ina rún é?
Tá d’fhocal agam air sin?’

Translated by Gabriel Rosenstock into Irish from English
In the Word-Box

what could be stranger

Waqas Khwaja

what could be stranger than the way
i experience you?
i taste you with my eyes
smell you with my touch
hear the pores of your skin
humming with bees
see the prickle of your body’s
untarnished desire
breathe its stinging melody on my breath
and i sip the ardent voice
of your eyes with my tongue

an bhféadfadh aon ní bheith níos aite

Waqas Khwaja

An bhféadfadh aon ní bheith níos aite
ná mo thaithíse ort?
Blaisim thú lem’ shúile
bolaím lem’ mhéara thú
cloisim póireanna do chraicinn
is iad ag crónán le beacha
feicim spíonta dhúil gan teimheal
do cholainne
is a ceolmhaireacht ghéar ar m’anáil
agus slogaim dianghuth
do shúl lem’ theanga

Translated by Gabriel Rosenstock into Irish from English

Broken bangle

Gabriel Rosenstock

a bangle seller
on a Mumbai train
was arrested (again)
her bangles confiscated
red, yellow, blue, purple, et cetera
on her way
to the police station
she saw a rainbow –
a broken bangle –
in the sky
colourless

Translated by the Poet from Irish

bráisléad briste

gabhadh díoltóir bráisléad
(arís) ar thraein
in Mumbai
coigistíodh na bráisléid
dearg, buí, gorm, corcra agus araile
ar a slí go dtí
stáisiún na bpóilíní
chonaic sí bogha ceatha –
bráisléad briste –
sa spéir
gan dath

σπασμένο βραχιόλι

μια πωλήτρια βραχιολιών
σε ένα τραίνο της Βομβάης
συνελήφθη (ξανά)
τα βραχιόλια της κατασχέθηκαν
κόκκινα, κίτρινα, μπλε, μωβ, και άλλα

στον δρόμο
για το αστυνομικό τμήμα
είδε ένα ουράνιο τόξο -
ένα σπασμένο βραχιόλι -
στον ουρανό
                  άχρωμο


Translated by Sarah Thilykou into Greek from English
Leviathan

Two Fires

Subodh Sarkar

Here, every child is scared to play
Here, every squirrel has a bullet-proof home
Here, every old man wants to commit suicide
There is no difference between a soldier and a man
No difference between the killer and the killed
Both are poor, both are hungry, both are tortured.

Poets of India, can you walk between two fires?

Translation from the Bengali by the poet


Dhá Thine
Subodh Sarkar
San áit seo tá eagla ar pháistí dul amach ag spraoi
San áit seo tá nead philéardhíonach ag na hioraí
San áit seo is mian leis na seanóirí lámh a chur ina mbás féin
Níl aon difríocht idir saighdiúir agus sibhialtach
Níl aon difríocht idir an marfóir is an té atá marbh
Táid araon beo bocht, ocras orthu, céastar iad araon.

A fhilí na hIndia, bhfuil sibh in ann siúl idir dhá thine?

Translated by Gabriel Rosenstock into Irish from English

A Breeze

Dileep Jhaveri

I am a wandering breeze
You are a widespread park
A park grows from rich soil
It covers stiff rocks and reveals scurrying brooks
It cares for humble short grass as much for tallest ever green redwoods
Infinite is its variety of leaves in shapes, sizes, sheen and texture
Every colour unfurls in its flowers
No tongue can tell the taste of its fruits
Seemingly anchored it keeps flying
on the wings of the bees butterflies and birds
It cavorts with crickets and cicadas and squirrels and raccoons and bears
It hums with floating fragrances
It rolls with seeds and scones and pebbles and pollens
It twists with climbing creepers and photophilic branches
It limits the sky in its lakes and hides the sun in its dew
How else can I describe you?
Stay, you are a park in league with mighty winds
I am just a passing breeze
that you may not recall
while I shall carry you forever

Translated by

In the Word-Box

Sanskriti Rani Desai

Suddenly awakening from sleep one night,
I saw something astonishing.
Out of one word, another was emerging
Out of the second, a third . . .
A hundred, two hundred words were emerging
From each word!
The whole room was overflowing with words.
Seeing that my eyes were open,
A wild stampede began.
The words started rushing back to their word-boxes
Fifth into the fourth, fourth into the third,
Third into the second.
I swiftly caught a speedily escaping word
And asked it “What’s all this?”
In the beginning, it kept silent,
But after further interrogation, it explained,
“Periodically every word dons a skin,
And after awhile another one over that,
Like one box contained inside another.”
As soon as I let go of its neck,
The word ran for its life.
Before entering the mouth of a snoring word,
It said,
“Right from the original meaning
All the current meanings
Come out at night
To enjoy a momentary freedom.
Take care, the prevailing arrogant word
Doesn’t find out about this,
Otherwise our doom is sealed.
Can you keep a secret?
A gentleman's promise?”

Translated from Gujarati by Dileep Jhaveri and Bill Wolak


I mBosca na mBriathra.
Sanskriti Rani Desai

Dhúisíos go tobann oíche amháin
Agus chuir an radharc alltacht orm.
Bhí focal amháin ag teacht amach as focal eile,
As an dara focal, an tríú ceann . . .
Céad, dhá chéad focal ag éalú
As gach focal!
Bhí an seomra ar fad ag cur thar maoil le focail.
Chonaiceadar go raibh mo shúile ar oscailt,
Is ansin a thosnaigh an hurlamaboc.
Thug na focail go léir seáp faoi na boscaí briathra.
An cúigiú isteach sa cheathrú, an ceathrú sa tríú,
An tríú sa dara ceann.
Rugas go grod ar cheann de na focail a bhí ag éalú
Agus ar mise leis, ‘Cad é seo go léir?’
Ní osclódh a chlab ar dtús
Ach tar éis a thuilleadh fiosraithe, ar sé,
‘Bíonn craiceann ar fhocal ó am go a chéile,
Agus, tar éis tamaill, craiceann eile anuas air sin
Mar a bheadh bosca istigh i mbosca.’
Nuair a scaoileas dem’ ghreim scornaí air
Theith an focal lena anam.
Sular ghabh isteach i mbéal focal eile a bhí ag srannadh,
Ar seisean:
‘Tagann a mbrí reatha
Amach as an mbunbhrí
Istoíche
Chun sult a bhaint as a gcuid saoirse.
Bí cinnte nach gcloisfidh an focal sotalach
Atá i réim faoi seo
Nó tá ár bport seinnte.
Coinneoidh tú ina rún é?
Tá d’fhocal agam air sin?’

Translated by Gabriel Rosenstock into Irish from English
WHAT DO YOU THINK ?

Noble Meat Home

Manisha Joshi

I am not interested at all in this Marathi woman –
Hard face, shrill voice – selling flowers
on the train going from VT to Thane and Thane to VT.
The train stops at Kurla station.
Muslim women get onto the train
And strip off their burkhas.
I look at them with a homoerotic gaze.
I can map all of Kurla in that face.
‘Noble Meat Home’
Dirty white hens
Half fried omelette
The green distempered mosque
The older woman with henna-red hair
with her offering of a chadar
The Hajis officiating a nikaah
Sufi auliyas
Little children who run over burning coals
A repentant sinner holding on himself
the blows of a whip and
large cans overflowing with sherbet
to quench the thirst of Imam Hussain.




નોબલ મીટ હોમ”
મનીષા જોષી

મને કોઇ જ રસ નથી, વી.ટી.થી થાણા
અને થાણાથી વી.ટી. આવ-જા કરતી
આ ટ્રેનમાં કે કરડા ચહેરા અને કર્કશ અવાજવાળી
ફૂલ-ગજરા વેચતી આ મરાઠી બાઇમાં.
કુર્લા સ્ટેશને ગાડી ઉભે છે.
મુસ્લિમ સ્ત્રીઓ લેડીઝ કંપાર્ટમેન્ટમાં આવીને
બુરખો કાઢી નાખે છે અને હું એમને
સજાતીય નજરે તાકી રહું છું.
આખુંયે કુર્લા દેખાય છે મને એ ચહેરામાં.
ત્યાંનું, “નોબલ મીટ હોમ”,
ઓફ-વ્હાઇટ કલરની મરઘીઓ,
હાફ-ફ્રાઇડ ઓમલેટ,
લીલા રંગના ડીસ્ટેમ્પરવાળી મસ્જિદ,
ચાદર ચડાવવા આવેલી
મહેંદી કરેલા કેસરી વાળવાળી એક પ્રૌઢ સ્ત્રી,
નિકાહ કુબૂલ કરાવતા હાજીઓ,
સૂફી ઓલિયાઓ,
ધગધગતા દેવતા પર દોડી જતા બાળકો,
પોતાના શરીર પર કોરડા ઝીલતો
એક વ્યભિચારી, તથા
ઇમામ-હુસેનની તરસ છીપાવતાં
શરબતનાં છલકતાં પીપ.

Translated by Gopika Jadeja from Gujarati

On the Eighth Floor

Kunwar Narayan

On the Eighth Floor
Kunwar Narayan

On the eighth floor
in this small flat
are a pair of windows
that open outward.

To live incessantly
alone in the flat
at such a height with windows
that open outward
is terrifying.

On both windows, I
have put strong grilles
knowing full well
that on the eight floor
one will hardly dare
to come in from outside...

In fact, I am scared from the inside
not from the outside
that, edgy with the world
or bored with my own self,
I myself may not someday
jump out of from within.

Translated into English from Hindi by Apurva Narain

En el octavo piso
Kunwar Narayan

En el octavo piso
en este pequeño departamento
hay un par de ventanas
que se abren hacia afuera.

Vivir incesantemente
solo en el piso
a tal altura, con ventanas
que se abren hacia afuera
es aterrador.

En ambas ventanas,
he puesto rejas fuertes
sabiendo muy bien
que en el piso ocho
difícilmente alguno se atreva
a entrar desde afuera ...

De hecho, tengo miedo del adentro
no del afuera
de que, inquieto con el mundo
o aburrido de mí mismo,
yo mismo no pueda algún día
saltar hacia afuera desde dentro.

Translated by Berni Sangit into Spanish from English
In the Land of Butterflies

Tulips

SYLVIA PLATH

The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.
Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in.
I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly
As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.
I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.
I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses
And my history to the anaesthetist and my body to surgeons.

They have propped my head between the pillow and the sheet-cuff
Like an eye between two white lids that will not shut.
Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in.
The nurses pass and pass, they are no trouble,
They pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps,
Doing things with their hands, one just the same as another,
So it is impossible to tell how many there are.

My body is a pebble to them, they tend it as water
Tends to the pebbles it must run over, smoothing them gently.
They bring me numbness in their bright needles, they bring me sleep.
Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage——
My patent leather overnight case like a black pillbox,
My husband and child smiling out of the family photo;
Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks.

I have let things slip, a thirty-year-old cargo boat
stubbornly hanging on to my name and address.
They have swabbed me clear of my loving associations.
Scared and bare on the green plastic-pillowed trolley
I watched my teaset, my bureaus of linen, my books
Sink out of sight, and the water went over my head.
I am a nun now, I have never been so pure.

I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted
To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free——
The peacefulness is so big it dazes you,
And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets.
It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them
Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet.

The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me.
Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe
Lightly, through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby.
Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds.
They are subtle : they seem to float, though they weigh me down,
Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color,
A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck.

Nobody watched me before, now I am watched.
The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me
Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins,
And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow
Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips,
And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself.
The vivid tulips eat my oxygen.

Before they came the air was calm enough,
Coming and going, breath by breath, without any fuss.
Then the tulips filled it up like a loud noise.
Now the air snags and eddies round them the way a river
Snags and eddies round a sunken rust-red engine.
They concentrate my attention, that was happy
Playing and resting without committing itself.

The walls, also, seem to be warming themselves.
The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals;
They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat,
And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes
Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me.
The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea,
And comes from a country far away as health.

ટ્યૂલિપ્સ

આ ટ્યૂલિપ્સ ઘણા ઉત્તેજક છે, અહીં શિયાળો છે
જોને કેટલું સફેદ છે બધ્ધું, કેટલું શાંત, કેટલું હિમાચ્છાદિત.
અજવાળું પથરાય છે આ દીવાલ, આ ખાટલા, આ હાથ પર
અહીં એકલી સૂતા સૂતા હું જાતને ભણાવું છું શાંતિના પાઠ
હું જાણે છું જ નહિ, મારે વિસ્ફોટ સાથે કોઈ લેવા દેવા નથી.
મારુ નામ ને દિવસે પહેરવાના કપડાં મેં નર્સને આપી દીધા છે
મારી અથથી ઇતિ શીશી સૂંઘાડનારને ને મારું શરીર દાક્તરને.

મારું માથું ટેકવીને મૂક્યું છે એમણે ઓશિકા ને ચાદરની કિનારની વચમાં
બે સફેદ પોપચાંની વચમાં બંધ ન થતી આંખની જેમ.
મૂર્ખ કીકી, એને બધું અંદર લીધે છૂટકો.
નર્સો આવે ને જાય, આવે ને જાય, એ નડતી નથી
એ તો આવે ને જાય પ્રવાસી સીગલ જેવી, માથે સફેદ ટોપી લઇ,
હાથથી કંઈ ને કંઈ કરતી, જેવી એક તેવી બીજી
એટલે બધી મળીને કુલ કેટલી એ કહેવું અશક્ય છે

મારું શરીર એમને માટે એક કાંકરી છે, જેને એ લોકો સાચવે છે પાણી જેમ
સાચવે છે, પસવારે છે હળવેકથી, એ કાંકરીને જેની ઉપર ફરી વળવાનું હોય
ચળકતી સોંયોમાં એ બધિરતા લઈને આવે છે, નિંદર લઇને આવે છે.
હું ખોવાઈ ગઈ છું, કંટાળી ગઈ છું સામાનથી---
મારો ખાસ ચામડાનો એક જોડી કપડાંભર્યો થેલો દવાઓના કાળા ખોખા જેવો,
મારો વર ને છોકરો ફોટોફ્રેમમાં બેઠાં હસે છે;
એમનું હાસ્ય ચોંટી જાય છે મારી ચામડી પર, નાની હસતી આંકડીઓ

મેં બધી ચીજોને સરકવા દીધી છે, ત્રીસ વર્ષ જૂનું માલભર્યું જહાજ
જિદ્દી થઇને લટકે છે મારા નામ ને સરનામાં પર.
ડેટોલવાળા રૂના ટુકડાથી ઘસી ઘસીને સાફ કરી નાખ્યા છે એમણે મારા પ્રેમાળ સંગાથો
લીલી પ્લાસ્ટિકની ટ્રોલી ઉપર ભયભીત ને ઉઘાડાં પડ્યાં જોઉં છું
મારા ચાના કપ રકાબી, મારા કપડાંભર્યા ખાનાં, મારા પુસ્તકો
નજર તળે ડૂબે છે, અને પાણી માથા ઉપર થઇ ચાલ્યું જાય છે.
હું હવે એક સાધ્વી છું, ક્યારેય આટલી નિષ્કલંક નહોતી

મારે કોઈ ફૂલો નહોતા જોઈતા, મારે ખાલી હાથ
ઉપર કરીને સૂવું'તું, સાવ સાવ ખાલી.
કેટલી મુક્તિ, કેટલું ખુલ્લાપણું તને અંદાજેય નથી---
એટલી બધી શાંતિ કે તું મૂઢ થઇ જાય,
અને એ તારી પાસે કંઈ માંગણીઓ ના કરે, નામની તક્તી, જરઝવેરાત.
અહીં આવીને જ તો અટકે છે મૃતકો, હું કલ્પી શકું છું એમને
પિંડ પરે મુખ બંધ કરતાં, જાણે પ્રસાદનો ઠોર.

પહેલી વાત કે આ ટ્યૂલિપ્સ સખ્ખત લાલ છે, વાગે છે મને.
ચળકતા કાગળની આરપાર સાંભળી શકું છું
એમના હળવા શ્વાસ, વીંટાળેલા સફેદ કપડાંની આરપાર, કોઈ ભૂંડા બાળકના જેવા.
એમની લાલાશ વાતો કરે છે મારા ઘાવ સાથે, સંવાદ કરે છે.
એ ઘણા સૂક્ષ્મ છે: લગભગ તરે છે, ને છતાંય હું લદાઈ જાઉં છું એમના બોજ તળે,
એકાદ ડઝન સીસાનાં ભારણ મારા ગળા ફરતે
વ્યાકુળ કરતાં મને એમની સફાળી જીભથી નેએમના રંગથી.

કોઈએ મારી કદી દેખરેખ રાખી નથી, ને હવે બધા પહેરો કરે છે.
ટ્યૂલિપ્સ મને જુએ છે, ને આ પાછળની બારી પણ
જ્યાં દિવસમાં એક વાર અજવાશ ધીમેથી ફેલાય છે ને આછો થાય છે,
ને હું જોઉં છું મારી જાતને, ચત્તીપાટ, હાસ્યાસ્પદ, સૂરજની આંખ ને ટ્યૂલિપની આંખની વચમાં
કાગળ-કાપ્યા છાયાચિત્ર જેવી ચહેરા વિનાની, મારે ભૂંસી જ નાખવી હતી મારી જાતને
આ તીવ્ર ટ્યૂલિપ્સ મારો ઓક્સિજન ખાઈ જાય છે.

એ આવ્યા એ પહેલાં હવા શાંત હતી
આવતી જતી, શ્વાસ પછી શ્વાસ, કોઈ ખટપટ વિના.
પછી આ ટ્યૂલિપ્સે અેને ભરી દીધી, જાણે કોઈ ગરજતો અવાજ.
હવે આ હવા ભોંકી જાય છે અને વમળાય છે એમની આસપાસ જાણે કોઈ નદી
ભોંકી જાય છે ને વમળાય છે ડૂબેલા કાટખાધા લાલ ઈંજનને ફરતે
એ મારું ધ્યાન કેન્દ્રિત કરે છે, જેને મોકળાશ હતી
કોઈ બંધન વિના રમવાની-આરામવાની

આ દીવાલો પણ પોતાને ચેતવણી આપતી લાગે છે:
ભયાનક જાનવર જેવા આ ટ્યૂલિપ્સને તો સળિયા પાછળ નાખવા જોઈએ
એમનું મોઢું તો જો, ફાડીને બેઠા છે, કોઈ આફ્રિકન બિલાડો જાણે,
અને મને ભાન છે મારા હૃદયનું, એ ખુલે છે ને બંધ થાય છે
એનો લાલ કટોરો ખીલે છે મારી પ્રત્યેના ભરપૂર પ્રેમને કારણે.
હું ચાખું છું પાણી, ગરમ ને ખારું, દરિયા જેવું,
આવતું તબિયત જેટલા દૂરના કોઈ દેશથી.

--- સીલ્વીયા પ્લાથ
અનુવાદ: પ્રતિષ્ઠા પંડ્યા

Translated by Pratishta Pandya from English

In Ramesh

Ramesh Parekh

I am searching, but cannot locate Ramesh in Ramesh.
One cannot find the roads leading to Ramesh in Ramesh.

Even gul-mohars might sometimes be visiting his place.
Their foot-prints are smouldering even today in Ramesh.

If you dig, you may find a city lying there buried,
The same way you will discover Ramesh’s dreams in Ramesh.

Half of Ramesh is lost in the dark days to come,
And the other half exists in the clouds of smoke in Ramesh.

The entire kingdom has now become absolutely still,
Because the kind that lived in Ramesh has died in Ramesh.

Sometimes someone sauntered there like a spring-time breeze,
Today only cobwebs are seen dangling in Ramesh.

God! What will happen to your pale loftiness?
You are busy constantly digging pot-holes in Ramesh.

When a boat-man bearing the name of Ramesh got drowned,
Then only we realized there were oceans in Ramesh.


કાગડો મરી ગયો
...રમેશ પારેખ

સડકની વચ્ચોવચ્ચ સાવ કાગડો મરી ગયો
ખૂલેખૂલો બન્યો બનાવ કાગડો મરી ગયો

નજરને એની કાળી કાળી ઠેસ વાગતી રહે
જમાવી એ રીતે પડાવ કાગડો મરી ગયો

આ કાગડો મર્યો કે એનું કાગડાપણું મર્યું?
તું સિદ્ધ એ કરી બતાવ , કાગડો મરી ગયો

શું કાગડાના વેશમાંથી કાગડો ઊડી ગયો?
ગમે તે અર્થ તું ઘટાવ , કાગડો મરી ગયો

શું કામ જઈને બેસતો એ વીજળીના તાર પર ?
નડ્યો છે જોખમી સ્વભાવ, કાગડો મરી ગયો

અવાજ આપી કોને એના શબ્દ છીનવ્યા હતા?
કરી કરીને –કાંવ... કાંવ કાગડો મરી ગયો

સદાય મૃતદેહ ચૂંથી કોને એમાં શોધતો ?
લઈ બધા રહસ્યભાવ , કાગડો મરી ગયો

લ્યો, કાગડો હોવાનો એનો કાર્યક્રમ પૂરો થયો ,
હવે આ રાષ્ટ્રગીત ગાવ, કાગડો મરી ગયો

રમેશ, આમ કાગડાની જેમ તું કરાંજ મા...
You stop… stop …stop.. now કાગડો મરી ગયો

Translated by Balubhai Shah from Gujarati

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.