Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry

 
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SENAPATI PRADYUMNA KESHARI
 

THE BIRD


The prettiest of all birds  
has been nesting here  
for long.  
It doesn't come out.  
Yet it can see the world.  
It doesn't fly.  
Yet it can travel all over the universe.  
They say  
none can snare,  
no noose can catch it.  

Since I've lost the words  
of petting the bird,  
the wind cannot enter my house  
despite all these  
doors and windows.  

Now the bird  
seems to understand, obey.  
And then  
it hesitates.  

This depressed bird,  
they say,  
has forgotten its songs.  
All the fragrant joy  
that glittered in its eyes  
when it arrived here,  
is all gone.  

Now in its nest  
the bird is quiet.  
Utterly silent it watches  
the comings and goings  
of the sun and the moon,  
the rule of seasons,  
the withering of buds on stems,  
the rotting of corpses  
in the field.  

Its sulking is like  
the soft rain of ashadha;  
and its eyes  
as bright as stars.  
When it sings,  
eternity listens to it, 
like a child.  

The prettiest of all,  
this bird now  
is quiet. 
What pain is it  
drunk with ?  
  
  
Translation :
Soubhagya Kumar Misra   

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