Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry




The world appears as if to end,  
like grains of rice hard to find  
on a leaf-plate after a meal— 
the diverse movements of a lifetime,  
a gust of unforeseen wind  
traces its marks and leaves.  

Afternoon, and in a swing of eager sunlight  
is it a pale picture that rocks back and forth?  
Who is the artist ?  
Afterwards,just a blur of shadow  
For in a sudden explosion  
was everything wiped out, creatures all,  
every sound, each and every inanimate.  

Does memory ever have a body ?  
And can a body carry its memory for all time ?  
Unspoken despair stands up  
and sits down over and over again,  
unable to escape from itself  
being itself alone.  

Man is buried  
in a world of his own making,  
like a river that has reached its end  
in a small shack of a labourer repairing the bank,  
leftover life,having lost its identity,  
keeps on tormenting at every instant.  

Translation :
Jayanta Mahapatra 

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