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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.

Spider and Other Poems – Niranjan Bhagat

Dec 30, 2021 | Poetry | 0 comments

Translated from the Gujarati by Shailesh Parekh
Spider

Simply filthy, rollie- polly, stained all over, utterly ugly;
Slides to move, an octopus swimming in the sea of breeze;
To transform its own body, is there a touchstone?
Anyways, who wants o look at him?
With threads – golden, sticky and delicate
Weaves anew every day, a strong web from its own body;
Like some classical poet, restrained, creating a pieces of art,
That is not crushed under its own weight.
Like a guest from an alien universe, remains aloof,
Appears still, lazy, calm, composed – springs to action!
Attracted by the fragrant flower-like web, a fly sneaking past,
Cannot escape the vigilant eye;
Secret desire of the heart – (not only the earth in sight)
Some time, may be, capture the sky-wandering star!

__

Peacock

Spreading the train of its colourful feathers,
Happily observes spread of its vast pride
(in this scorching summer, ever available shade for a snake)
Sweet notes of its intoxicated call
Struggle to stir the sky, try to thunder all around;
In between sway the two wings of its own,
And always proudly pleased with its own style,
Like a romantic poet, arrogance in person!
Dazzles all with luxurious style,
With the lilting curves of its body,
Invites all generously, to enjoy the festival;
Royalty of exquisite world of colours, forms, notes.
Secret desire of the heart – strange indeed, (who to share with?):
Its priceless tears – will someone, somewhere, sometime share?

__

Memory

Inside my home
Since ages I sit in a corner.
My room is beautifully decorated,
Crystal chandeliers adorn the ceiling,
Floors covered with thick carpets,
Silk curtains on the windows,
Framed mirrors on the walls,
Colourful flowers on the table;
My room was filled.
Suddenly, someone entered,
Made me smile and sob, momentarily,
Went away before I knew;
It became a memory in my heart.
Now my room is empty,
Filled only with a memory.

__

Dream

Outside my home
Since ages I roam the streets.
My streets are long and wide,
Crowds everywhere,
Vehicles rush here and there,
Fumes of smoke,
Screaming voices
Buildings crushing;
My roads were full.
Suddenly, someone passed,
Hardly speaking or smiling
Vanished like a mystery;
A dream in my eyes.
Now my roads are empty,
Filled only by a dream.

__

Niranjan Bhagat (1926-2018), a major Gujarati poet, critic, orator, professor of English Literature, who is credited with urbanizing and modernizing Gujarati poetry. Pot-Gandhi era of Gujarati poetry is known as Rajendra-Niranjan Era. Written between 1946 and 1956, his 16 poems of Pravaldvip (Coral Island) describe the pulse of Mumbai (then Bombay), in traditional meters embedded with modern lexicon and imagery with the theme inspired by such stalwarts of modern poetry as Baudelaire and Rilke. Bhagat wrote 300 poems between 1943 and 1958 and remained silent for 45 years. beginning again in 2003, he wrote 100 more poems about love, friendship and death in colloquial Gujarati.

Shailesh Parekh( b 1943), chemical engineer academically and business man in working life. A Ravindra-anuragi or Tagore-aficionado now. Translated Tagore into Gujarati and English. Translated poems of Niranjan Bhagat into English

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