Poems by Sumitranandan Pant
Translated by Elizabeth Kurian ‘Mona’
Sumitranandan Pant(1900 –1977) is considered one of the
eminent poets of the Chhayavaadi school of Hindi literature. He
authored twenty eight works including poetry, verse plays and
Panth was awarded the Jnanpith Award for collection of his
poems, titled Chidambara. He was also the recipient of the Nehru
Peace Prize from the Soviet Union.
These poems are from his collection ‘Kala aur Boodha Chand’, and
are translated by Elizabeth Kurian ‘Mona’ from Hyderabad.
Gather together in my palms:
When I am thirsty, I drink them up.
When they dry up. .
I myself fill them
Melting in the fire of life,
The fire of life-
Shines like a golden mirror,
Joy sees its own face therein.
The face encircled by jet-black curls,
Filled with the constant gaze of love,
Imparts heart to wisdom!
Lips, crimson with the lines of fire,
Are kissed by contentment.
My heart itself transforms into that face,
When I remember you.
My heart itself transforms into that joy,
When I long for you.
I plunged into the sun,
It turned out to be a crystal pool;
I bloomed like a pink lotus!
From top to toe, I turned golden bright!
Oh diamond beam, inner truth,
Oh ruby ray, inner reality,
Traverse the boundary of outward life!
Evergreen, most modern are you,
O inner light!
Beyond east or west,
You’re the sun of meeting of mankind!
Oh lucid mind dwelling on the silver skies
On the peak of time,
Oh inner vitality, you are the new dawn,
The new spirit!
My sensuality immersed in you
Transforms into golden brilliance.
I am your black bee,
O jewel lotus! O fiery lotus!
The quiet radiance of the rose!
I prayed -Reveal the secret
Of your eternal beauty,
In the eyes of my heart.
I was thunderstruck!
It was love personified!
I smelled it-
It was unbounded love!
My heart filled with infinite sweetness.
I kept the rose to my lips-
Its tenderness was divine love.
I went on gazing at
The everlasting beauty of the rose.
Wrapped in dazzling green darkness,
You bring in countless creeping desires
Unable to raise their spines!
I know not what will happen to them
They will spread throughout the earth
Like warped snakes.
When the casket is opened.
Which power will bind them?
Which art coerce them?
Which brightness will adorn?
They are honey thickened,
Smoldering chill taboos
Which are being liberated.
They will turn into flower garlands
For your curly golden tresses.
Drinking in their intoxicating smell,
Death will come to life!
You had brought the source of nectar,
Wrapped in golden green darkness,
They will turn into the veins of the heart
And transfuse the entire existence
With new blood!
Shell, conch, sound,
Are un-pierced pearls,
On the tree of sound.
The pearls laughed not,
The song did not burst forth,
The flower did not bloom.
The door of the senses
Were closed as a [precaution,
Sad pollen was filled
In the bud of the heart.
Doubt, lack of faith, disbelief,
The mind is not attuned to itself.
The message of truth,
Shell, conch, blossom of dreams,
Creepers of enjoyment.
Dawn ascends on the waters
Of the bottomless ocean.
Oh meek self,
Fires do not affect you!
I unfasten your anklets of rhythm,
You can tread silently
On the soft earth of tender emotions.
Let not your footsteps be heard,
Nor your footprints seen.
Outside, rages the ocean of deadly poison,
Thousands of serpent hoods
Scorched with the poison of hatred,
Hiss venom at you.
Quietly, trample their pride
Beneath the feet of your worthiness.
You yourself are the deadly poison,
The snake hoods, and the hiss.
Do not fear yourself.
You are moral fiber, sacrifice and love.
Do not pretend ignorance.
Walk on the path of flowers
Through the forest of thorns.
The autumn of hatred
Will soon turn into spring.
Vast silvery horizons
Of universal consciousness,
Silently fly in the free air
On the wings of propitious creation.
I am unfastening the anklets of rhyme
From your feet.