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
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.
Roses smitten with love
You, the droplets
In the garden of
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
IN THE GALLERY
Within and without
Souls wrapped in gunny bags
Stiff creases and starched stitches
Regimented in rows
Chests waiting for bullets
Nature’s finishing touches.
“Coming and Going Pieces”
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.
From her mouth
Storms and cyclones
In the heart
Words as frozen ice
Stuck in the
Melting in thought
Floating in the mind