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.

Kedarnath Singh

Jan 29, 2021 | Poetry | 0 comments

Translated from the Hindi by Moulinath Goswami.


I speak from a place
where bullets
enter the wings of sparrows
Where bread dissolves in water

I can see some faces
Some faces I can never see

I come out of a nook
and walk into the city
I come out of the city
I see a huge forlorn lair before me

Someone was there who’s now gone away
leaving his claws and jaws behind
No one’s there anymore, the sharp scent of whose absence
lay spread-out everywhere

For the first time I feel I am not alone
I am not alone in this colony
Because I know potatoes are being roasted somewhere
Somewhere the children huddle together
round a flowing white beard
And from within the beard a black cheetah emerges

I speak from that place
where hunger
separates itself from shame
Where a black cheetah
turns into the aroma of roasted potatoes


I am in search of a better word for sleep.



These trees
like sleuths hidden in a crowd
will follow you wherever you go

Walking beneath a dense green bower
you will never realize
that green is one such colour
which strikes at the scruples of men

You will never come to know
that you spent your entire day
crossing the distance
between a house that has lost itself
and a tree that is now past

No one will tell you
that meanwhile
whatever you write on this piece of white
therein also lies the silent agony of trees.

Kedarnath Singh

Kedarnath Singh

Kedarnath Singh (1934-2018) is one of the doyens of Indian poetry. He wrote in Hindi, his mother-tongue. He had developed a signature style of his own primarily through striking simplicity of rendition through the use of common, everyday language. Yet he was a past master in weaving stunning images of the world and life around us. He was awarded the Jnanpith Award  (2013), Sahitya Akademi Award (1989), the two most prominent awards, conferred in the domain of literature in India.

Moulinath Goswami

Moulinath Goswami

Moulinath Goswami is a Bengali poet who also does translation of Bengali and English poems. He has one collection of poetry named ‘Dayal’. He is a regular contributor to various literary periodicals


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