Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry

 
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SANAT DAS PATNAIK
 

THE ROOT


Germination means  
the birth of a new tree  
and again the death of an inert seed— 
that is the only proof  
on the birth-to-death, death-to-birth  
explorations of man.  

What is the meaning of :  
the long sideburns of the dear son, his  
moustache of a tiger, the soft curly hair,  
golden chain on his neck, pan-kit  
on his shoulder, the narrow trousers  
but the long loose grandfather-like  
knee-touching shirts;  
what is the meaning ? —my death  
and my rebirth in a son,  
the rebirth of the lost generations!  

The statues of the lost generations  
explode--the Kalki of destruction is timeless—  
we do not like but we have to love it.  
God, property, this age old household,  
obedience to elders, amidst arguments  
on virtue and vice  
man has grown old !  
Is old age a growing toy of the tree  
that will break only to burn on towering flames ?  
God may take away everything, not  
life—to breath carelessly.  
Earth may dry up,  
the root will wait to make life juicy.  

Rasikananda is glued to his seat  
as if he has been metamorphosed into a root.  
To disbelieve himself, this way,  
is the nature of man or his old age,  
who knows ?  
  

Translation :
The Poet   

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