Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Erode Tamilanban

Feb 13, 2021 | Poetry | 0 comments

Translated from the Tamil by Dr.Amirtha Ganesan
A Letter Retrieved

I’ve gotten lost
Please don’t search for me…

Don’t post my picture
In TV magazine commercials…

“If brought home/
Whereabouts informed
There’s a handsome reward waiting”-
No announcement please.

Don’t call up the family
And sob together.

I’ve disappeared only to seek,
And find myself.

Till I find out all the joy there is
In getting lost.

Why doesn’t the night singer sing?

In the nights
Where kisses
Go to wrong addresses…

In the nights
Where doors
Wait for thieves,
He doesn’t sing.

In the nights
Where penalties
Wander searching for
Persons for enquiry…

In the nights
Where the noose is readied
Around the neck of
Sleeping justice,
He doesn’t sing.

In the nights
Where its own dead bones
Are pick’d…

In the nights
Where Truth
Goes to the house of lie
Carrying a bouquet…
He doesn’t sing.

In the nights
Where questions
Are hungry to deny replies…

In the nights
Where errors are born
With the purpose of
Rejecting corrections…
He doesn’t sing.

In the nights
That separate
A river from its waves…

In the nights
That distinguish
Between life and the living…
He doesn’t sing;
Indeed, he doesn’t.

Erode Tamilanban

Erode Tamilanban

N Jagadeesan (b. 1933), more generally known by his pen name Erode Tamilanban, has written 103 books including 73 collections of poems and translated the poems of Pablo Neruda into Tamil. Some of his poems have also been translated into Hindi and Urdu as well as Arabic, Chinese, French, German and Spanish. He has been the editor of  ‘Arima Nokku’ an International research journal on language, literature, art, culture, history, philosophy and science since its Inception in 2007. He has won a number of awards and honours including the ‘Mahakavi’  title by the Metroplex Tamil Sangam Dallas USA, the poetry award by the Baltimore Tamil Sangam USA and the Sahitya Akademi Award for his book ‘Vanakkam Valluva’ (Salutation Valluva).


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