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.

Two Hindi Poems— Gagan Gill

Jul 5, 2023 | Poetry | 0 comments



two hindi poems gagan gill




Just like sun rays
shimmering on the soil

Just like the taste
of moist rock in water

Like the restlessness in fish
on wet sand

Only a little hope is needed

Like the refrain of a song
that resonates inside the throat of one speechless
Like the frail thread of breath
stuck inside the lungs

Like the craving of an insect
glued to glass panes

Like the thirst
immersed in the abyss of a river

Only a little hope is needed






This human head
with which
she is playing
is her own

One hand abandons her
in one painting
She rushes to grip it –
the other hand
in another painting

The Aztec Gods crowd up
to watch her

There she is
teasing the Mother Goddess
There she is provoking
the household deities

That what she smears
painting after painting –
her own blood
she has to drink it all

She is not the one
to spare a drop
for the Gods

This is her obstinacy
a miniscule one

This human head
is an orb of sorrow
an orb of sorrowlessness

which she wants to shove
down the throats
of the hungry Gods



She authors only one sentence all her life.

On her paintings. On broken backbones. Over the dead body of her child.
As she goes on writing it
her rings grow bigger, and clothes grandiose.
Crowds throng the streets of California.
No one understands
she is engrossed
in putting together her own solitary sentence.

I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return

This is the only sentence that she is able to write
with all its appropriate spellings and structure
at the end of the night …



No one knows if death exists beyond her canvas or inside it.
No one knows if death stands alongside her keeping a watchful eye
or stares at her from her paintings
Irrespective of the painting that unfolds, death walks right inside it and lies down
If she tries to clear it off, death in turn lays her down right there.

This is a sport that both of them play. In an eternal picture. Them, shadow-sisters.

Also, read The Spy Who Loves Me by Indrani Datta translated from the Bengali by Rituparna Mukherjee, and published in the Antonym:

The Spy Who Loves Me— Indrani Datta

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Gagan Gill

Gagan Gill

Gagan Gill was born in 1959 in Delhi. She had an extremely successful career as a journalist but chose to sacrifice the journalist for the poet in her in order to secure the ‘long periods of silence in her everyday life’ which she considered necessary to remain ‘truly connected to words’.

Gagan has published four collections of poetry and one volume of prose: her first collection Ek din lautegi larki (One day the girl will return) focuses on the gamut of female experience (but also includes epigrams and verses about political events); the poems of Andhere me Buddha (Buddhas in the dark) are variations on the theme of sorrow in human existence; her third volume Yah akanksha samay nahin (Inopportune desire) is dedicated to the enigma of desire; the songs of her fourth collection Thapak thapak dil thapak thapak rely on sound and images rather than narratives to crystallize suffering as the one constant in the impermanence of human existence. Those who are familiar with Buddhism will see the reflections of the Buddha’s four noble truths in much of Gagan’s writing.

Moulinath Goswami

Moulinath Goswami

Born in Asansol, West Bengal, India, Moulinath Goswami writes poetry in Bengali, his mother tongue, as well as in English. Writing is his escape, his meditation. Though primarily a poet, he writes prose as well and does translations in Bengali and English. He contributes regularly to the prominent magazines and periodicals of West Bengal, Bangladesh, and overseas. His collections of Bengali poems include Dayal, Kuashar Tukrora. His third book Memoir Of A Girl consists of English translations of Bengali poems of Jhelum Trivedi. He has a collection of Bengali short stories Paranbiler Maath to his credit. He was an invitee participant in the Multi-lingual Writers’ Meet organized by Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal in February 2020.


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