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.

Yashodhara Ray Chaudhuri

Mar 13, 2021 | Front And Center, Poetry | 1 comment

Translated from the Bengali by Chirayata Chakrabarty

The way I am right now
I cannot put it down, right away.
That the Now will be known as the Now, right now
Would be wrong to hope for.
And so, I quickly write down
the past and the future of my time.

The way I am right now
In that place between dawn and dusk
Washing down with sudsy water
The things that can be.
Clocks, pots, buckets and cloth
Doors and windows, and the plastic table cover.

Minutes and hours, covered in soapy bubbles.
Minutes and hours, what if I desert them and sleep on the small square of this moment?

Rather I seek my shelter in the foam of the sea
in my dreams.

Fear flees from group to group.
Fear leaps like a blob of phlegm.
Like a virus, contagious.
Like a boil full of bubbling pus, nauseating.
The bare facts and the half truths
Twisted and sharp like a witch’s nail.
They hop through groups
It won’t be right to just call it grim
It won’t be right to just think it wrong or bloody

It’s ache with a zest.
It’s murder by tickles.
It’s a torture, a long, slow process.
The way the traders of terror skin and rub salt,
Fear rolls,
Fear is rubbed into misery

Fear is the most valuable stock.
They invest in Fear and make a living.
Make one duel with another,
This is how they turn Fear into bricks,
Turn bricks into walls,
Then wall it up to build

A great big Silence.

I’ll Go Home

Swarms of waves come, to tell her – let’s go home, let’s go home
Slivers of the sun, that peep through the mellow blue sky
Tell her : Let’s go home, please, let’s go home

Her lover’s warm hands in a tender moment
They tempted her with the dream of a home
Let’s go home, let’s go home, let’s go home

The banks, keeled over, sink in her sleep
Hold on to the fragile ropes, cross the bamboo pool
an edged river, jagged rocks, washed away
But… cross it, and you’re home

In her sleep, flames surround her
The sky splits with lightning
An old homelessness fans and awakens a new one
It parts a way, and leaves
I am a refugee again, on the streets
I return, in tears, to beg
I’ll go home, I’ll go home, I’ll go home


Yashodhara Raychaudhuri

Yashodhara Raychaudhuri

Yashodhara Ray Chaudhuri (born 1965) is a poet residing in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, and an established name in Bengali poetry. Publishing her works since 1993, she has several collections of poetry to her credit from 1996 to 2019. She was awarded the Krittibas Puroskar in 1998 ( instituted by the Krittibas Patrika). She also writes articles short stories and novellas . She translates from French language also and has translated Serge Bremley’s renowned book, Leonardo Da Vinci.  

Chirayata Chakrabarty

Chirayata Chakrabarty

Born in the January of 2000, in Kolkata, India, Chirayata Chakrabarty is pursuing her Master’s degree at EFL University. She also dabbles with music in her free time, a passion that was birthed by the pandemic – which she uploads occassionally on her YouTube channel. She started translating Bengali short stories, as a practice, in 2018 and has since tried to grow as a translator, as well as a song-writer and poet – a growth that she has sought since she was old enough to think.

1 Comment

  1. Sesh Kumar Pulipaka

    A very special talent, Yashodhara is a very simple person but very deep and insightful thoughts permeate her poems. That she has already won accolades is admirable recognition of her efforts. Translation is normally difficult and may not always adequately convey the nuances and feelings intended by the poet in the original language. Ms Chirayata Chakravarthy deserves full praise in excellent translation she has done. God bless both of them and more well deserved recognition should come as no surprise to followers of Yshodhara’s poems.


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