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Fetch the Sky
|by Gopal Lahiri|
Poem Continuous-Reincarnated Expressions, offers English translations of the selected Bengali poems written by the gifted Poet Bibhas Roy Chowdhury. The poetry collection is ably translated in English by Kiriti Sengupta.
Look, your kisses fly away to reach the cloud,
It is the aim of the translator to reconfigure the poems in a way that will convey the spirit of the original without any trappings of the weight and the scale. Kiriti in his note remarked, ‘Roy Chowdhury’s poems are exceptionally easy to read; they sound easy when read but they are extremely difficult to translate into English’. I have read a few of the Bibhas’s poems in Bengali and I cannot but agree with Kiriti.
My mother stays far away, all alone
Not too often he uses the weight of the history but underpins that some pivotal things happen in Bengal and what happens has echoes across the time plane and generations. His poems demonstrate the effects of life, they signal the intrusive, intimate viscidness of the struggle.
In the core of my heart I nurse the wounded soul Carefully
One cannot but agree with Alokeranjan Dasgupta’s keen observations on Bibhas Roy Chowdhury’s works, ‘His poems depict much struggle and crisis, yet these are dream-inducing as we commonly expect from poetry. Bibhas’ poems take us to trance’.
The poet answers himself,
His poems are like flickering sunbeams; teem with enough thoughts on life. Yet in a few instances, he tends to search for a space that possesses the substance and the authority that have let fall away. These intertwined desires to reveal, to listen and to explore are tested in his poems.
Given that so much, his poem seems bitter and clunky at times but he ends up with a more powerful, even haunting amalgam of the theme and content. Comfort is not one of the zones you need to be in and for that matter pain is useful.
How can I depart?
The beauty of the lyricism lingers in ‘Our lovers are only the weather bulletins!’ no matter what you do with it. His poems are not of an unusual kind, simply and movingly encapsulates the concept and Kiriti’s translation is flawless.
I know tears make your love behind blind
Though at great ease with his multitude of voices, the poet often demonstrates the struggle in a suggestive trance,
We, two old mirrors,
What you are looking at really, more than anything else, is a core identity and the poet has to find a path of his own. Bibhas trusts himself and his poems have a withholding pattern, doling out words in bits and bytes, relying on the readers to construct the whole.
Fetch the sky
What apparent for this book, however, is the single-minded efforts of both the poet and the translator that lead to a seamless journey to achieve the goal. In a way, Poetry is meant to be read and heard. We feel a powerful sense of connection at the end. For this, Poem Continuous will surely find a wide reader.
The cover design by Partha Pratim Das is appropriate. This book is a must for your shelf to fill up the empty moments.
Poem Continuous by Bibhas Roy Chowdhury
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