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K. Satchidanandan


Stammer is no handicap.
It is a mode of speech.

Stammer is the silence that falls
between the word and its meaning,
just as lameness is the
silence that falls between
the word and the deed.

Did stammer precede language
or succeed it ?
Is it only a dialect or a
language itself ? These questions
make linguists stammer.

Each time we stammer
we are offering a sacrifice
to the God of Meanings.

When a whole people stammer
stammer becomes their mother tongue:
as it is with us now.

God too must have stammered
when He created Man.
That is why all the words of man
carry different meanings.
That is why everything he utters
from his prayers to his commands
like poetry.

Translated by the poet


Thorns are my language.
I announce my existence
with a bleeding touch.

Once these thorns were flowers.
I loathe lovers who betray.
Poets have abandoned the deserts
to go back to the gardens.
Only camels remain here, and merchants
who trample my flowers to dust.

One thorn for each rare drop of water.
I donít tempt butterflies.
No bird sings my praise.
I donít yield to droughts.

I create another beauty
beyond the moonlight,
this side of dreams,
a sharp, piercing,
parallel language.

Translated by the poet

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