Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry

 
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PRABASINI MAHAKUD TIWARI
 

THE NIGHT


1.  
Today I have become the night.  
Let no light touch me.  
Let the meaning I have been cease.  
Let my body become a different body.  
Let all names signifying me disappear.  
Pushed by an irresistible impulse  
to become the night  
I arrived here.  
Let me become the night today.  
I have a single aspiration today—  
to become the night,  
to abolish the ugliness in everything  
and install beauty in its place.  

2.  
How long must I wait  
before it is night ?  
One cannot recollect the day's looks  
unless it is night.  
The moon and the stars will not arrive  
unless it is night.  
The whole sky will be a wilderness  
unless it is night.  
How do I get the time  
to bring back to my mind  
your celebrated eyes  
unless it is night ?  
How can the tuberoses of my steadfast love  
blossom into expanding whiteness  
unless it is night ?  
How long must I wait  
before it is night ?  

3.  
Describing that night is unholy.  
Remembering the eyes of that night  
is also unholy.  
Years pass,but that exquisite night  
does not re-enter my mind  
that's still, and on the way to holiness.  
Some unfinished poem  
was inscribed on that night's face.  
In the lamplight of my soul  
I had once read its lines.  
I am the despair of that poem,  
and I dissolve  
in the night.  
I am already an ingredient of the night,  
but the splendour of that night  
(which, once upon a time,  
was my own body's splendour)  
does not return,  
and years pass.  
   
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