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.

Zinia Mitra

Feb 5, 2021 | Poetry | 4 comments


Thammi asked me to pinch up her sorrows
like red ants from the bark of her tree
they climbed her long brown arms
one by one from imprisoned nights
when saltwater overflowed her pores
and the rain disoriented the shape of the girl
who floated trapped in a form
in her dream she had kept her young.

I reached out across many years to touch her hands
her dry skin peeled off
a strong cinnamon smell in my fingers.
Memories of spices wafted through the air
like flipped pages of her recipe books
basmati rice, ghee, saffron, cardamom,
milk and honey dripping from its dog ear edges.

I prepare a glass of warm clove water
white clouds form around a semicolon moon
my fingers adamantly repeat the cinnamon smell
memory of her dry skin.


Long-stalked Yellow Flower


Should we be glad we lived the moment-
the moment of your picking a long- stalk yellow flower
and clipping it on my longish brown hair? You said
you wanted to collect all the yellow flowers
that grow on Tindharia slopes throughout your sunburnt days
bring them to me on a long island moonlit night
hold my hands till the sun cleared your gray convex horizon-
it was such a limpid dance of words!
I am no Mrs.Dalloway.I hate clinking glasses.

But in a sense we are all Clarissas
absurd perhaps in the eyes of our own Peters
organizing our grand partys
with words and thoughts and ideas
that eat and drink and dance and blather
throughout our lives.

Our lives are like scratches made by wolves’ claws
on the surface of our wet- soil minds
scratches on bare skins when we stand naked dripping water
tiny points of ache forming on our old scars.

We greet our scars like familiar kitchen containers
look for them in the throng of voluble memories
feel at home with the chopped pieces on the chopping broad.
Much of it is inside.


Zinia Mitra

Zinia Mitra

Zinia Mitra teaches at the Department of English, University of North Bengal. Her travelogues and articles have often appeared in The Statesman. Her poems have been published in National and International journals including Muse India, Ruminations, Contemporary Literary Review, Kavya Bharati, East Lit. Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi), Asian Signature, Teesta Review, Setu. Her books include Indian Poetry in English: Critical Essays, Poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra: Imagery and Experiential Identity, Twentieth Century British Literature: Reconstructing Literary Sensibility (co-edited), Interact (co-edited) and The Concept of Motherhood in India: Myths, Theories and Realities.


  1. Sushil chandak

    Excellent poem, read many times… are gift to the world

    • Prabir Dutta

      Beautiful poems
      The poet’s propensity to nature is once more evident

  2. Sushil chandak

    Wonderful poem.. read many times….
    You are gift to world

    • Prabir Dutta

      Wonderful piece writing.
      The pictorial quality deserves a special mention.


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