Sukrita Paul Kumar

More poems by Sukrita Paul Kumar

Sukrita Paul Kumar is a poet and a critic, and she teaches literature at a Delhi University college. Formerly a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, she has published four collections of poems in English, Oscillations, Apurna, Folds of Silence and Without Margins (2005). They also include sketches done by her. Her major publications include her books, Narrating Partition, Conversations on Modernism, The New Story, Breakthrough (ed.), and Man, Woman and Androgyny. Involved in the study of the theory and practice of literary translation, she has also been Director of Katha’s Project on “Translating Short Fiction”, for two years. As Director of a UNESCO project on “The Culture of Peace”, she edited a volume of Urdu short stories from India and Pakistan, Mapping Memories. She has recently completed a UGC Major Research Project on “Cultural Reorientations in India as a fall-out of Partition”. She has also been involved in projects in Women’s Studies and has co-edited a volume on Women’s Studies in India: Contours of Change published by IIAS in 2002. The National Book Trust of India published her book of translations, Stories of Joginder Paul in 2003. She is the chief editor of the anthology prescribed by University of Delhi on Cultural Diversity and Literary Traditions in India.

Sukrita has held a solo exhibition of her paintings at AIFACS in New Delhi. She can be reached by mail at


Generation Gap


I cannot fathom

This ocean between us
The ocean filling up with
Alligators, big fish, sharks and all,
Corals and weeds
Going in circles
With elephantine waves
Gushing over them
Round and round
over and over.


Fiery sunflowers
Holy marigolds

Roses smitten with love
You, the droplets
Of dew
In the garden of
My mind

So many selves
Yours and mine
Dancing in the myriad
Mirrors, each morning.


The Seventh floor
Tells Buddha’s tale

Above desire, above suffering

One day I was born
One day I shall die.


From the Peak

Fog settling on
Masses of cement and iron


Steel shadows
Fluid contours

Passing into

Within and without


Souls wrapped in gunny bags
Stiff creases and starched stitches

Headless bodies
Regimented in rows
Chests waiting for bullets

Nature’s finishing touches.


They are
“Coming and Going Pieces”
of art
She said,
Out of live tree trunks

Always in transition
Always waiting for
Something to happen

A withering or a blossoming

the skyscrapers of Hong Kong

opaque in the abstraction of nature.


Words fall
From her mouth
As rain

On deserts.


Storms and cyclones
In the heart

Words dropping
As stones.

Words as frozen ice
Stuck in the

Of lovers.


Melting in thought
Floating in the mind

Collecting in
unuttered sentences.

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