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Poetry is an ever-flowing river. Any river goes on and on till it joins the perennial sea. The rivers of poetry are multilingual, depending on the regions, states and regions and countries where they are written. Translating poetry is a task which is manifold and a translation is never the best, may not be the last or final. It may always be improved. This writer has some essays on literary translation carried by this very web-site. Recent literary translation from Telugu into English is for those who have no other way to know what poetry is being written in our language.
Tell me the place the eye starts
If you have with it with you
An eye that occupies the mirror
If you have it don’t show to anyone
For the graveyard it is evening
For whom is it time for rain
Fire salty wind
Bones without any honey
For the skin of the manas
If the beginning of the word is slain
Tongue would not grow
For your night how many signs of intermissions
The thorns in your body
I desire most
So much of grief
When I would stop between letters
Float in the world becoming bind wind
I waited for long
Saw my body touching yours
Nowhere between us
The words that leave
In a moment,
I take a look in my silent eye
Don’t you catch me
Smell of darkness
This word does not sing a welcome to any
Words running away smelling of moss
In a moment may become a shadow of colours
Otherwise, coming near, the “A”s of delicate saltiness
Becoming a part of a broken leaf
Or else, a bird that does not have the sky
Fly in the slept leaf
If not all these some drops
Stopping the eye
Glow like shadowy blocks
If not any at the end of this life
It may not know that there would be no other word
If not so they may become
The smell of darkness
Which moves between words
M S Naidu (born 1971) studied in P R College and Osmania University. A PhD scholar, he worked on Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher whose philosophy needs deep thinking. Naidu wrote ‘Oka Vellipotunna’(2001) , ‘Gaali Addam’(2016) are his Telegu poetry collections. Looking inward and lost in depth, complexity is this poet’s distinctive mark. The three poems carried here are illustrations of his unique thought processes.
I don’t know
Where I lost my key
Opening the door
Of my secret manas
Washing my hair
Giving me a bathe
The room that gives me a new life
I lost my key
Wiping away the wounds of my heart
Waking me up from my slumber
Clearing the smell of vodka sipped in my dream
Showing me the inner worlds
I lost my key
Body without flesh
Cleansing the old ways
On my brow without vermillion
Becoming a sunrise
Making it glow
I lost my key
Into the dark lake
Erasing the thin line
Between me and my sight
Winning me in all entirety
Changing me totally…
Sparkling my thoughts that grew up in me
All saved in my sixth room
Waiting to see the one without form or shape
Before the end of the night
Those searched for me
Waiting to see the shapeless
Wherever there is Poetry
I’m going out, shut the door
The sun is scorching hot, where now?
To meet some
Are there no people here?
Truly … people
The people there are cool and wet, thinking ones!
People in whom humanity shines!
Given the weapon, alphabet
Planting written ideas
Show wisdom to mankind!
Is it so?
Do you think only that much?
When one embraces them
Shake hands with them
Newness sprouts and grows in them
Everything changes, bringing greenery
I feel my self
That means …?
People there breathe poetry
Life becoming poetry!
Where such are, there is p o e t r y !!!
A poet is a distinct person with a personality breathing specially, deeply and distinctly and expressing himself thoughtfully, truly and being impressively human.
Wilson Rao is an officer in LIC now placed in Hyderabad.
The Sea - In Deep Thoughts
Like the prayer of a tank getting dry
On the sand
The dried-up fish
Debt of innumerable lives
Never being cleared
Is the salt of the sea
Which is more blue
For sounds, depth
Flying gaily over the sea
Or swimming making the sky their sea
Waiting only to be united
What does the sea know?
Rivers one after another
Though being diverted
Getting worried and breathing hard
How are they combining?
The waves ate the back
Hastily pushing forward
Those ahead are pushing them
Born and brought up in Kharagapur, West Bengal, Mukunda Rama Rao Yellapu, is now in Hyderabad. He is a well-known and prolific Telugu poet-writer-critic-translator with 18 books to his credit. Two of his books together have been translated into Kannada as Valasahoda Mandahasa (2005); and three have been translated together into English under the title The Smile That Mirgrated and Other Poems. His poems, articles and reviews have been published in leading newspapers, magazines and journals both print and online. His work has been well commented upon in 9 books of literary criticism. He has been interviewed by AIR and leading TV channels. He is the recipient of four prestigious awards – Sri Ramana Sumanasree Award for Best Poetry (1995) for his work Valasapoyina Mandahasam; Telugu University Kirti Puraskaram for Best Poetry (2008); Telugu University Best Translation Award for Nobel Kavitvam (2015); CP Brown Award for Translation Works (2016). Basically, an IT professional, he retired as Senior Project Manager from Hewlett Packard, Bengaluru in Dec, 2006.
How can you search for me
Burning in flames fiercely rising
Coming walking over the words poetic
Making way in the winds flaming fiercely
Come into faces
Hunting in wilds and gushing streams
Red with anger
In the eyes flashing fire from the circular sky
Come into the looks of the fiery hawk
Thrown away by “civilized”
Brought up by wilderness
Come, amidst don boscos
For the sharp non-ending
Under the bodhi tree
Come and stand facing the fencing and their calisthenics
Do roti- a little silence
In the night
Time to eat do roti
The noise of the TV
Endless dialogue in the mobile
Reminds one of a hasty sexplay
Quickly eating do roti
I get up
Two minutes enough
Doesn’t talk to me at all
Says my daughter, come for a vacation
Dad does not have words
Says my missus
With the banning of high currency
Small notes become scarce
I don’t have words now
The entire atmosphere
The cooker is boiling noisily swishing
Do roti essential
For my living
Two words are needed
For the country
Vijaya Chandra Rokkam is born (1955) in Kaligaanndhra. He has three degrees, M. Com, CA and IIB. He is the disciple of the great writer, Uppala Lakshman Rao of Berhampur, now in Orissa. He founded, helped and enthused several literary organisations. Retiring from a public sector bank 2015. He s a literary enthusiast and he continues being such.
With a paper before me
Days, nights hours beyond limit
Pen in hand stays unmoving
For some time in my mouth getting crushed
Dancing in my head.
To put a few letters on the paper
To weave a few words
I get into myself
Searching for something
What’s there in the body behind the placing of bones
I go into the manas
Peep down deep into the soul
In fact, there are matters unknown
In me too.
Layers on layers
Society driven inti bits
In not a single large boulder
Both within and without
This bifocal vision
Crushed me putting between grind stones
A door till then closed within me
Somehow seemed to have opened
From the fist like small sound falling
Looking down suddenly
I found on the paper
Opening up on the paper.
The origin of a poem differs from one poet to another, sometimes in the flash of an idea and sometimes in a lot of rumination to speak of just two ways.
Varala Anand has been a lecturer in Telugu in an affiliated college in Karimnagar, now in Telangana. He is a prolific writer who has bright out several volumes of poems in Telugu a and translated works in Hindi (of lyrists like Gulzar) and some Tamil works. He wrote film articles, monographs and works of documentary films.
Earlier we got separates – as humans
For Nature’s ordinance
That became the first sentence
Later we divided ourselves as men and women
For that first sentence
It became the first letter
Later, we divided ourselves in religions and faiths
Around the circle of alphabets
That sowed deadly killing swords
Then we divided ourselves a blind sentence-long caste
In the spreading of varnashrama, caste and life- stages
That became the spelling of sub-castes
That became a meaningless sentence
Then we split ourselves into regions
For the reduced blind sentence
That became a coloured blind-fold
At last we remained split into smithereens
For those blindfold of blindness
That stood the concluding death song in unison.
Desaraju’s poem stands testimony to the degeneration of the concept of human equivalence where caste, creed, colour and a thousand other categories appears as suicidal divisions.
Desaraju (b.1971) is a journalist who wrote poetry and wrote journalistic interviews. His poetry collection Oke oka saamoohika swapnaviskaraNa.
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