Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry

 
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SOUBHAGYA KUMAR MISRA
 

OF DEFERRED SPEECH


The sun has quite a few things to say.  
But it hops from a bend in the river  
to a downstream bathing place  
where there are no bathers,  
from there to yellow Aswattha leaves,  
and then to malignant tumours in ovaries.  
It thus squanders its time,  
and when evening comes  
it sets, without having said a thing.  

The river has quite a few things to say.  
But it flows on and on,  
trying to inscribe the sun's wasted life  
on the restless paper of its waters.  
Its time terminates  
in the incompetence of an obese ocean.  

It's always impossible  
to say even an infinitesemal part  
of what one intended to say.  
The soil, for example,  
swells with the intent to speak  
and, ultimately, disintegrates.  
The day's light  
hovers around the stamen of flowers,  
around the raised hoods of snakes,  
but in the end settles on the wings of a kite  
and disappears into the immeasurable void.  

This, probably, is the destiny of the poet.  
Before he can relieve the mule of grammar  
of sacks filled with intended speech,  
crows descend and sit in a circle  
around the cleansed wound.  
   

Translation :
Ramakanta Rath  

SIN


Afraid? Should I leave?  
Heard from both sides, always—
and still no one comes near  
from among those who ask and those who hear.  

Do I stand in the interior dark  
that I wouldn't feel fright or fear?  
True, that on many disturbing mornings  
I have noticed the alarm  
in fresh tyre-marks on the wet earth;  
just crushing the fruit in my fist  
and admitting my hunger  
have made me forgetful.  

Such darkness that even the sky is invisible,  
only innumerable stars  
disclose how  
they have slipped away  
from that imperious cloud's hold,  
the one who circles the leafless tree.  

I don't wish to see anyone at all;  
at a dangerous moment, certain words  
are so full of arrogance  
that they only strut insolently  
in dark lanes.  

Be seated wherever you are  
by the window— 
simply don't notice the sins I commit. 


Translation :
Jayanta Mahapatra  

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