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.

Dreamless Nights & Other Poems— Rajathi Salma

Oct 14, 2022 | Poetry | 1 comment

Translated from the Tamil by Deepalakshmi J
Dreamless Nights 

The nights are getting barren,
difficult to tolerate for more than a few days or a week
The heart craves a memory, good or bad; to rejoice or grieve about.
Dreamless nights dry up like dreary deserts. 

A Tiny World 

It’s an enchanting experience
trying to pervade into a child’s world.
There is but one slight glitch, though.
In an exercise that calls for no pretense or poise,
you could get kicked out at any moment,
and you’d be none the wiser about it.

The Agony Of Rebellion

Soaring to find new heights,
The bird fights the hard menacing clouds;
As a sharp edge sears its wings,
The rainbows get the eighth hue of blood.

A Plea

These tears and despair
do not seek your repentance or hurt.
Leaving your remorse behind,
touching none of my pains,
wilfully make space to breathe.
It’s been a while since childhood paid me a visit


In a house filled with darkness,
Nights robbed of sleep,
All I get to read all night
Is what I borrow from the bedroom window
The sky and a couple of roguish stars.

Pouring Memories 

Lost direction amid incessant rains,
Framed by the bus window I’m seated at,
my memories falter and become paintings.
Wet trees cross by as I sit and wipe out
memories of yours etched on my body,
waiting with hope for rainy nights
that bring no trauma and no memory. 

Also, read three Hindi poems by Shrikant Verma , dealing with life’s varied realizations, translated into English by Purbasha Roy, and published in The Antonym

Realization & Other Poems— Shrikant Verma

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Rakkiaiah is an Indian Tamil writer, activist, and politician known by the pen name Salma and the nickname Rajathi, and often referred to as Rajathi Salma. Her works have received international acclaim and she is renowned as a sensation in contemporary Tamil literature. She is a member of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and is involved in women’s and transgender rights activism. Between 2007 and 2011, she served as the chairperson of the State Social Welfare Board of Tamil Nadu. Salma is also the founder of a non-government women’s rights organization named Your Hope is Remaining.

Deepalakshmi J heads content marketing for an IT firm based in the US. She has translated Gnanpith award-winning author Jayakanthan’s short stories into English and writes columns both in English and Tamil. She currently writes a weekly column in The Hindu (Tamil) about gender and socio-political issues. When she’s not dabbling in the above, she loves to sing, play badminton, and teach spoken English on YouTube. Deepalakshmi lives in Chennai with her husband and two daughters.

1 Comment

  1. Velu subramaniam

    வடிவத்தை விட கவிதையின் ஆத்மா சிறப்பாக மொழி பெயர்க்கப்பட்டிருக்கிறது.


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