The Unadorned

My literary blog to keep track of my creative mood swings with poems n short stories, book reviews n humorous prose, travelogues n photography, reflections n translations, both in English n Hindi.

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I'm a peace-loving married Indian male on the right side of '50 with college-going children, and presently employed under government. Educationally I've a master's degree in History, and another in Computer Application. Besides, I've a post graduate diploma in Management. My published works are:- (1)"In Harness", ISBN 81-8157-183-5, a poetry collections and (2) "The Remix of Orchid", ISBN 978-81-7525-729-0, a short story collections with a foreword by Mr. Ruskin Bond, (3) "Virasat", ISBN 978-81-7525-982-9, again a short story collection but in Hindi, (4) "Ek Saal Baad," ISBN 978-81-906496-8-1, my second Story Collection in Hindi.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

An Image of a Poet: an attempt at Translation

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Shri Gouri Shankar Kar, a colleague of mine has to his credit three collections of poems in Oriya that he self-published between 1998 and 2004. The poems are immensely readable. In my attempt to try my hand in translation I have already translated a few of his poems and posted them in my blog. They can be viewed at these links * *. The poet himself has encouraged me by giving a positive feedback on my attempt. So here is another one. It is from his poetry collection, "Kanta Koili" 2004.
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An Image of a Poet

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Let me make it clear, and

Let me warn you

Don’t make the blunder of berating

A poet…a life lived in meaning

So come one and all

That declare themselves as poets

That are absorbed in poetic callings

And let us behave poet-like

And live a life of meaning.


Don’t caw the harsh cry of a raven

And don’t peck at things random.

Look, how a poet can crack the cloud

Yet can do little to liberate his own

From the sweet dungeon of lotus petals.

He can even build romance in the void…

Aren’t you making a fuss

Of how the poet can devour the soil?

Yes, he can do that with ease

He can even show you the universe

If he just opens his soiled mouth!


The poet can eat the soil but stays above

And sometimes beyond all the terrestrial frames

Into the space and farther off

Measuring the dimensions, layer upon layers.

The millions of stars, the moon and the clouds

Move but in compliance with his wish.

So, don’t shoot an arrow at him

Just because he is a real white swan

Flying in the sky his flight of passion.


Listen what his muse recites for him--

The seasons are pregnant,

The fragrance of jasmine wafts

Across the garden of imagination,

Leave the humming bee alone

Out for saving his words and passion.


Aha! The poet is prodigious

He’s capable of celebrating light

Aboard a flotsam of murkiness,

He can climb into the sky

Along the dangling tail of a python,

Bestriding a high bough of existence

He alone can cut its root with aplomb.


So, don’t caw the harsh cry of a raven

And don't scream for no reason.


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A Poem by Shri Gouri Shankar Kar

Translated by A. N. Nanda

Bubaneswar:: 28/09/2008

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