Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry

 
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GOPAL KRUSHNA RATH
 

THE VOICE OF A LONG SHADOW


The corpse is in slumber  
and all the choicest flowers of his eyes  
have withered. They slept  
for the last time in his eyes;  
nevertheless two drops of tears  
have rolled down  
from his affectionate eyes:  
all will burn : those eyes,  
those flowers and tears.  

The corpse is burning:  
with it get burnt  
a few dialogues— Time's,  
a few mournful voices—his unquenched thirst's.  
Flowers get burnt, tears too.  
So lonely the eyes when they began to burn!  
I am also burning : in my breath,  
my dearest flowers are also  
burning in my eyes  
and my eyes  
are also burning : as if  
I am a corpse;  
bewildered, unconcerned  
but innocent.  

On the eve of the New Year  
in the letters  
I have received  
everyone has written—
they are also burning  
like me  
like the corpse.  
  

Translation :
Sanat Das Patnaik  

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