Patri 3

I translated some poems from Purnendu Patri’s Kathapakathan II.

33.
You might laugh
but I swear wherever I see licks of flame
these days I am prostrate as if watching a movie.
Let me tell you the reason.
A couple of days ago I read somewhere
that on an unfortunate day of the national movement
Nandalal Basu had drawn a bunch of posters
to make invincible
anti-imperialism and the emergence of tortured people.
But in fear of police raids
all incendiary posters are in the belly of fire.
Immediately having read the news
In the fire stony faces of proud humans feeling fury
In the fire incessant glee for chain shattering
In the fire the shining magazines of Chattagram.
On one side applauding youth march toward a hangman’s platform
on the other side behind naked soldiers
in the blaze of my own chest, a rib-enflamed bone-skeleton.
It was like this for some days.
Then I forgot everything.
Suddenly several days ago another impact.
Lorca’s life’s-worth of sonnets were tucked
in a soldier friend’s pocket.
Within Franco’s butcher-fire
Both soldier and sonnet burnt to ashes in a day.
After having read the news
In the fire blood wedding’s sprinting horse
Behind the horse a crooked blade of unbridled lust
Behind the knife a blue moon’s red blood hunger
And the green guitar’s endless yellow mourning.
Believe me, Amitava
Now whenever I look at fire
I see the various alphabets of
Lorca’s sonnets burnt to ash, or these:
Heaven, death, murder, blood, wing,
mountain, love, rock, dagger, root,
urine, hate, laughter, breast,
liberty.

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Patri 2

I translated some poems from Purnendu Patri’s Kathapakathan II.

32.
Amitava, that I ripped the dreads-tangled darkness of a deep pit
and collected a rock, you know this. That I wanted to build
such a woman with a blow of a chisel-hammer that she’d look
as if she’d just awoken and showered at the earth’s magma falls,
this you also know. So the following story–

The day I struck the first chisel blow, a spray of blood. All night
a hand pressed on her wound. All day inside of her emptiness
like a mother. When no longer dripping in blood, and
her wound is brimming with green leaves, sitting down again
to mold with the chisel-hammer.
– What are you putting on me?
– A sari of fire. That which suits your soul.
– What is that smell inside me?
– I scattered seeds of yearning in your blood. Flowers are blooming on those trees.
– How shall I show you my gratitude for this new life?
– Turn the petals of my desire into golden jasmines.
– You are the one who will give me that power.
– Here, take this heart.

The next incident is very amusing. Immediately upon receiving life
she broke down the door of the room and ran away toward the earth.
She hasn’t returned. Having lost my own
heart, now I am the rock of a deep pit.