Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Prometheus


 Cover your heaven, Zeus,
And like a boy
Beheading thistles
Practice on oaks and mountain peaks-
Still you must leave
My earth intact
And my small hovel, which you did not build,
And this my hearth
Whose glowing heat
You envy me.
I know of nothing more wretched
Under the sun than you gods!
Meagerly you nourish
Your majesty
on dues of sacrifice
And breadth of prayer
And would suffer want
But for children and beggars,
poor hopeful fools.

Once too, a child,
Not knowing where to turn,
I raised bewildered eyes
Up to the sun, as if above there were
An ear to hear my complaint,
A heart like mine
To take pity on the oppressed.

Who helped me
Against the Titans' arrogance?
Who rescued me from death,
from slavery?
Did not my holy and glowing heart,
Unaided, accomplish all?
And did it not, young and good,
Cheated, glow thankfulness
For its safety to him, to the sleeper above?

I pay homage to you? For what?
Have you ever assuaged
the frightened man's tears?
Was it not omnipotent time
That forged me into manhood,
And eternal fate,
My masters and yours?
Or did you think perhaps
That I should hate this life,
Flee into deserts
Because not all
the blossoms of dream grew ripe?

Here I sit, forming men
in my image,
A race to resemble me:
To suffer, to weep,
To enjoy, to be glad-
and never to heed you,
like me!

Goethe
1773

Monday, December 23, 2013

यह एक दिन

कई बार
आशाओं से निरंतर मुठभेड़ भी
ले जाती है आत्महत्या तक।
आज की रात
ड्राई लीव्स - दिएनेका
यही सुनना है मुझे येसेनिन के मुँह से
और उसके फैसले को गलत बताने के लिए ज़रूरी नहीं है मायकोव्स्की का होना।
वह समय था जब
अनसुलझे थे जीवन और कविता के
कई सवाल
जिन्हें हमारे समय में
हल किया जाना है
या फिर आने वाले समय में।
 आज का कवि है
इस विश्वास की हिफाजत के लिए  
और ज़रूरी कि
इस खातिर बचा कर रखे जाएँ
कुछ यादगार उदास दिन,
कुछ परछाईयाँ, कुछ धब्बे, कुछ असफल और कुछ कमजोर कवितायें,
कुछ टूटे रिश्तों और कुछ लौटे साथियों की यादें,
कुछ पुराने नक़्शे,
कुछ चिट्ठियाँ, कुछ रिक्तताएँ
और कुछ झूठी गवाहियां भी
ताकि उजले दिनों में
वहाँ तक लाने वाले रास्तों की
शिनाख्त की जा सके।

(अंतिम हिस्सा)

कात्यायनी 

फूटपाथ पर कुर्सी से

Friday, October 11, 2013

For the Grave of a Peace-Loving Man

This one was no philanthropist,
avoided meetings, stadiums, the large stores.
Did not eat the flesh of his own kind.
Violence walked the streets,
smiling, not naked.
But there were screams in the sky.
People’s faces were not very clear.
They seemed to be battered
even before the blow had struck home.
One thing for which he fought all his life,
with words, tooth and claw, grimly,
cunningly, off his own bat:
the thing which he called his peace,
now that he’s got it, there is no longer a mouth
over his bones, to taste it with.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Optimism

I write poems
they don't get published
but they will

I'm waiting for a letter with good news
maybe it will arrive the day I die
but it will come for sure

the world's not ruled by governments or money
but by people
a hundred years from now
maybe
but it will be for sure

           2 September 1957
           Leipzig
           Nazim Hikmet

Thursday, June 27, 2013

शिशिर सिम्फनी का अंश - 1

अब सीख गया हूँ
बर्फीले समय में
स्लेजगाडी में नाधे गए
सधे कुत्तों की तरह
सावधान सतर्क भागते रहना
और आत्मा से बर्फ के फाहे झाड़ते रहना
और सुनता हूँ
खिडकियों का खुलना कहीं,
अलाव का जलना कहीं,
तारों का टूटना कहीं,
उम्मीदों का और जीवन का पूरा होना कहीं,
मिलना कहीं, मरना कहीं
और जनमना कहीं।

धरती के किसी कोने से उठते
शोर पर ध्यान देना
और किसी एक अकेली चीख पर भी,
आत्मसम्मोहित विद्वाताओं की तमाम किस्मो
और उजरती गुलामियों के तमाम रूपों को पहचानना,
गिलहरी की तरह
अनाज या संवेदना या दोस्ती या प्यार का
हर दाना
दोनों हाथो से थामना,
लंगर डाले नावों के रस्से
रात को चोरी से खोल देना,
अन्खुवो के फूटने की आवाज़ सुनना,
खामोश कर दी गयी ध्वनियो धरती के गर्भ से निकाल लाना,
बवंडरो में,
उन्मत्त घोड़ो की तरह भागना
और ऐसा ही बहुत कुछ
सीखता रहा हूँ लगातार
और ऐसे ही हुनरों में
महारत हासिल करता रहा हूँ।
और सबसे बढ़कर यह कि
मैं लोगों के दुखों और इच्छाओं को
पढ़ सकता हूँ
तुम्हारी आँखों की तरह
और थकान
(वेन गोग की तस्वीर)
भी पढ़ सकता हूँ
और भांप सकता हूँ
भावनाओं का हर दबाया आवेग या संकल्पों के खोलते लावे के
उमड़ने का समय
काफी हद तक
और बचपन से जारी अभ्यास
अभी भी जारी रखता हूँ कि
तरलता आँखों में कभी न आये
उमड़ने की हद तक
और असफल भी होता रहता हूँ।

शशि प्रकाश

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Separation isn’t time or distance, it’s the bridge between us finer than silk thread sharper than sword.
 
Nazim Hikmet

Monday, May 13, 2013

Spirals of time..

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown’d,
Crooked eclipses ’gainst his glory flight,
And Time, that gave, doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth,
And delves the parallels in beauty’s brow;
Feeds on the rarities of nature’s truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.


Shakespeare
(LX SONNET)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Heights of Macchu Picchu

Arise to birth with me, my brother.
Give me your hand out of the depths sown by your sorrows.
tiller of fields, weaver, reticent shepherd,
groom of totemic guanacos,
mason high on your treacherous scaffolding,
iceman of Andean tears,
jeweler with crushed fingers,
farmer anxious among his seedlings,
potter wasted among his clays–
bring to the cup of this new life
your ancient buried sorrows.
Show me your blood and your furrow;
say to me: here I was scourged
because a gem was dull or because the earth
failed to give up in time its tithe of corn or stone.
Point out to me the rock on which you stumbled,
the wood they used to crucify your body.



Pablo Neruda

Fear

Everyone asks me to skip, to tone up and to play football, to run,
to swim and to fly. Fine.

Everyone counsels me to rest, every-
one sends me doctors, looking at me a certain way. What is
happening?

Everyone counsels me to travel, to enter and to
leave, not to travel, to drop dead and not to die.
It doesn't
matter.

Everyone sees the difficulties of my insides surprised
by terrible x-rays. I do not agree.

Everyone picks at my
poetry with inconquerable forks looking, undoubtedly, for a
fly. I am afraid.

I am afraid of everyone, of cold water, of
death. I am like all mortals, undelayable.

Therefore in
these short days I am not going to pay any attention to them,
I am going to open myself up and close myself in with my most
perfidious enemy, Pablo Neruda.



Pablo Neruda

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Unfinished poem of Mayakovsky..

I know the force of the words and warning they can sound
i don't mean those which draw front row applause 
But words at which coffins break loose to pound
the ground this way and that with heavy paws 
They must be cast out publishers ignore them
But words forge on tighten their belly-bands 
ring through the centuries and trains come crawling 
to lick and fondle poetry's horny hands 
I know the force of the words They seem a petal flung
Under the heels of dancers just a trifle 
But man possesses backbone, heart and tongue

Mayakovsky
(1928-1930)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

आशंका

मैंने पुछा 
एक पंसारी से 
-प्यार किया है कभी?
जानने की इच्छा है 
कोठे के दलाल के 
क्या होते हैं उसूल 
और गली के उस मरियल कुत्ते ने 
क्या कभी प्रोग्राम बनाया था 
दुर्गम यात्रा पर निकलने का?
हालत ऐसे ही रहे 
तो एक दिन शायद 
पूछ बैठूं कवि-दोस्त से-
क्या कभी विद्रोह का नाम सुना है?

कात्यायनी

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting for a genius


Yet as matters stand at present, it is not only hard to produce a genius but also hard to have the soil from which a genius could grow. It seems to me that while genius is largely inborn, anyone can become the soil to nurture genius. For us to provide, the soil is more realistic than to demand the genius; for otherwise, even if we have hundreds of geniuses they will not be able to strike root for lack of soil, like bean-sprouts growth on a plate.....

Of course the soil cannot be compared with genius, but even to be the soil is difficult unless we persevere and spare no pains. Still, where there’s a will there’s a way, and here we have a better chance of success than if we wait idly for a heaven-sent genius. In this lies the strength of the soil and its great expectations, as well as its reward. For when a beautiful blossom grows from the soil, all who see it naturally take pleasure in the sight, including the soil itself. You need not be a blossom yourself to feel a lifting of your spirit — provided, always, that soil has a spirit too.

Lu Shun
(Waiting for a Genius)