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Shadow and other poems- Dr. Chittaranjan Misra

Dec 17, 2021 | Poetry | 0 comments

Translated from the Odia by Bibhu Padhi

The shadow says
It will leave
For the place
where it came from–
From the darkness
of the deep night.
What is there
without the shadow?
Neither yours, nor mine.
So many days have passed
Without the shadow.
Look at the watch;
Your airplane
will reach me soon..



I am the owl
That has not reached
Its tree-home
Before the night has ended.
I dash against
The sharp beaks of the crows;
I rise and fall again and again.
I cannot find my way home.
I alone had secured my home
Mixing the darkness within me
With the loud calls.
Now, inside the cordon
Of light and colours,
Nothing is mine.
My shelter is shattered
By the terrible sound
Of the fireworks
Of terrorism.



A slight smile of your lips
Is indented by sadness.
Is that why
The weapons slip from my
Hands by your smile?
It is good that
This meeting was to be like this.
I am inside myself, like
the chilled water in the fridge.
You went away from the drawing room
Like a handful of fog.
The freshly cut body of the chicken
Is not yet gone cold on the pan
Of a balance rod;
It is still like
The dead body of a newborn baby.
Winter is very harsh;
The ice closely embraces
this body of water.


The Song of Love

I didn’t know
that I would find you
in the deep forest.
I had come here
To spend my exile.
Did I know that you would
Turn my sky into a deeper blue—
The colour of the berries
Held by the tribal woman?
What else is there
for the rest of my exile,
to choose or not to choose?
All the states of anxiety
Are spread on the clouded sky.
You alighted on the mountain
Like a piece of cloud
Disappearing from the sky,
Singing a shadowy song
of consolation like a coffee plantation
all over the mountain’s sides.
The mountains of green, in their
Delusion-free consciousness,
Had taught all that belonged to it
To stay away from them.
You brought back again
The grey branches, their blue memories,
To replay the song of love again.



I called you,
From a close distance.
Your name spread
Over every wave of the turbid river,
On every petal of kurei flowers,
Over the betel plantation,
On the boundary encircling
The muddy fields,
Every corner of the earth.

I do not know
What secret your name holds,
But calling you by your name,
Everything appears
One’s own.
When I say “Come,”
It seems a bird
Sits on my palm,
As if the lost youth
Is gathered from under
The blackberry tree.

You are standing so close,
But if I extend my hand,
You flow on Ratnachira’s currents.
Like the oyster shell,
The closed lips are torn
To call you, to come, very near.


* “Ratnachira” is the name of a beautiful narrow river in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.

Chittaranjan Mishra, formerly Head, Department of English, B.J.B. Autonomous College, Bhubaneswar has authored six anthologies of poems in Odia and two in English. He has translated Camus’ novel “The Outsider” and four plays of Harold Pinter into Odia. Author of seventeen books including his research based work “Harold Pinter: The Dramatist” Dr.Misra has published his poems and papers in national and international journals. He has also edited a collection of critical essays entitled “Indian Writing in English: Odishan Contribution” in 2015. His poetry collection “Lies of Limerence” has come out in 2020.

He can be contacted at [email protected]

Bibhu Padhi lives in Bhubaneswar, Orisa, India. A Pushcart nominee, published fourteen books of poetry. His poems have appeared in distinguished magazines throughout the English-speaking world, such as Contemporary Review, London Magazine, The Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, The Rialto, Stand, America Media, The American Scholar, Commonweal, The Manhattan Review, The New Criterion, Poet Lore, Poetry, Southwest Review, TriQuarterly, New Contrast, The Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review, and Queen’s Quarterly.
They have been included in numerous anthologies and textbooks. Five of the most recent are The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets, Language for a New Century (Norton) Journeys (HarperCollins), 60 Indian Poets (Penguin) and The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry.


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