Poet of the month: Kunwar Narayan/November-December 17

eighth floor

I live on the eighth floor
in a small flat
all alone.

A pair of windows in the flat
open outward.
Its terrifying.

I’ve put strong grills
on the windows.

Not that I apprehend danger
from outside. At this height
none dare intrude from outside.

The danger lies within me
terrible things happening around –
this isolation and boredom –
could any day force me
to jump out of the window.


A Poem

Around ten o’clock every day
the same incident recurs.
The same people, in the same way
leaving their wives and children alone
come out of their homes.
Its no earthquake.
While its growing dark,
the same people
to the same homes,
worn out, defeated
appareled in gloom.

I know
this way the earth won’t rock.
Nothing will happen this way.
These people are sick and stiff
because of some other reason.
All these
repeatedly, reaching the same conclusion
already reached;
will realise
that falsehood is a fine art
and each man an artist;
maddened through trying to give some meaning
not to the reality
but to his reality.

Now and then
while coming back home in the evening;
the frightening glimpses
of an abstract art
burst from the sky
in my mind.

As if
grinding together
all the discoloured men and things,
someone had spread them on a flat surface.
And against the apparent risk of blood
all the suppressed colours
of man
had emerged on their own.

[Translated by Apu Vajpeyi and J.Thronton]

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