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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.

Like Song To Spring & Other Poems— H.S. Shivaprakash

Jun 1, 2023 | Poetry | 0 comments

TRANSLATED FROM THE KANNADA BY H.S. SHIVAPRAKASH

kannada poems

Image used for Representation

 

LIKE SONG TO SPRING

But maybe no star can come to the evening
Till evening wills it
No song can come to spring
Till spring calls it

I am waiting like a hurrying star
But the the evening is delayed for ages
I am burning like a song
But the spring has become deferred

I stand here
A star
A song
Between
Ever
And
Never


WHERE SHALL WE MEET AGAIN

Where shall we meet again
dear friend?
In this planet or some other?
In this time- world
or some other?
In this very earth
in the same time-world,
you insist,
which I too would have
thirty years ago

Now that my body and I
are thirty years older
and my heart on fire
three hundred years younger
I clutch with my shaky fingers
the slippery globe
spinning so fast
out of my grasp

and look with my chastened eyes
to see so many worlds
within the world
like dreams within the dream
breaking free
like sprouts from the shattered seeds
like a poems from the tattered hearts
like gods and goddesses
from lifeless woods, stones and metals

So why only this world
Why only this time-
these crude imitations
of glorious worlds
inverted in the wombs
of desires?


WHEN I LET A MOMENT SLIP

When I let a moment slip
from my hands
a whole age slipped away

Before I could bat my eyelid
The whole world dawned and set

Between my in- and out-breath
a whole kalpa had gone

I did it all in ignorance
And all was lost

Yes, I could lay my hands
on every thing
but could hold nothing

The treasure buried deep
inside the earth;
huge monuments that
light and wind corroded;
the colossal underwater cities;
memories wasted in hearts’ depths;
sweetest moments spent with dear ones

All of them were very close
but nothing stayed with me

what did they earn
what did they save up
what sort of life they lived—
kings of kings
gods of gods
poorest of the poor
stingiest of the stingy
meanest of the mean


MAJNU TO LAILA

When the sun goes down in the west
It is not the moon
That rises
But it is your face
Holding two stars-
Your eyes
Which appear only to my eyes
Not only during the nights
But all through the days
Not only when awake
But also in dream
And in sleep
I will continue to see them shining

For they will follow me
Wherever I go
Even to the other world—
Your eyes!
They will not leave me
Or let me forget
In dream, sleep, wakefulness
Life, death, hell or heaven
Thank you


Every time I pluck a flower
I see myself plucking only a flower
Never do I see myself
plucking also the void
the size and shape of the flower
Still less
that it is the void plucking void
as I too am made of you
O Guru
O Shivalinga
O Great Void


Also, read Soil and Other Poems by Sankha Ghosh, translated from the Bengali by Owshnik Ghosh, and published in the Antonym:

Soil and Other Poems— Sankha Ghosh


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H.S. Shivaprakash

H.S. Shivaprakash

HS Shivaprakash is one of the leading Kannada poet and playwright. He was also a Professor of Art and Aesthetics at Jawharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.  He is the Director of the Cultural Centre at Berlin, known as the Tagore Centre, which is run by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). He has seven anthologies of poems, twelve plays, and several other books to his credit. His works have been widely translated in a number of Indian as well as international languages including English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Polish, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. His plays have been performed in Kannada, Hindi, Meitei, Rabha, Assamese, Bodo, Tamil and Malayalam. HS Shivaprakash is also a well-known authority on Vachana literature, Bhakti Movements of India, and Sufi and other mystic traditions.

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