Thursday, May 16, 2013

On Translation: a Poem

Of late I have been thinking a lot about the process of translation. And this morning as I deliberated more and more on the topic, this particular poem came to my mind.

On Translation: a poem

It feels like the warmth of May—
the page of roses with their beaming soul,
their thorns being ideas frozen in time,
like barefaced thin rods sticking out of unbaked buildings.
Their sepia-tinted eyes with pupils dilated
stare at me with unbecoming haste,
inviting me with their animated glance
to savor the mirage those frozen ideas create.

I see the wonder-worker work in haste
and tear away the page into defaced strips.
He then gathers the bits on his palm
and lets the east-wind have its way.
                          Away they fly like chirruping birds                                                                                                 
cloistered till now in some rusty cage
of stagnant time, living and feeding
from a painted trough with seeds
for alphabets and letters language bound.

I walk away from his shadowy form and behold
the constellation of dried paper animating
the sky of my local hemisphere.
Their myriad hues, their bewitching charm
weave tenebrous waves on the vault abaft.
And there I stand under this illuminated map
of tessellated paper with foreign letters,
imbibing the Pierian tune of re-creation
now in  my native tongue.

Many of the red petals fall on the grounds,
and some are stamped on by the populace.
But as I walk away, I perceive those same sepia-tinted eyes
half-smiling at me from the  renewed spectral-shape.