Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jibanananda - two translations by Arka Mukhopadhyay


Suranjana, do not go there,
Do not speak with that young man, there;
Come back Suranjana;
In the night of silver star-fire;

Come back to these fields, these waves;
Come back to my heart;
From distances to distances - farther distances
Do not go with that young man any more.

What speech with him? With him!
In skies beyond the sky
You are like clay now:
His love sprouts like the grass.

Your heart now is the grass:
Winds lie beyond the wind -
Skies lie beyond the sky.

2.O Heart!

O heart,
Are there but dead forests everywhere?
Up above, the moon
Scythes through clouds, forever seeking a path.

On the owl's wing,
The firefly's body
On the blades of grass, there is a dew-like grayness.
Does nothing shine?
Is there no more sound?

Still, life dancing like a thin myna
On two yellow feet, says:
How old are you now? Forty?
Many hours of desire came and went
And yet without consummation?
Who are those on mule-back, in the sun,
In bloody, tireless voyages through mountain tracks?
Must Patanjali come and tell you
The difference between those
That but sit and fall into death's pit,
And those that fall off mule-backs,
Vomiting blood?

All the dead forests,
All the dead forests of my life perhaps say:
Why must you go to the world's sunlit din?
Why needlessly do you want to walk
Beneath the sky, blue-throated
From drinking the poison of creation?
You won't, won't find anything anywhere;
Death alone lives, as eternal peace
In the endless darkness
Of dissolved forests.

Yet, I say,
The few days that I live, let's walk in the sun;
Let's see how the grass of this earth;
From creation's poison-tip and
Crushed humanity's darkness
Brings forth the blue universe;
Let's think - let's think -
If you but dig into history - penetrating
The many, many deep mines of sorrow -
You can hear, like healing,
The sound of a hundred waterfalls.

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