అనువాదలహరి

ఆటు… ఎడ్నా సెంట్ విన్సెంట్ మిలే, అమెరికను కవయిత్రి

నీ ప్రేమ నానుండి మరలింది కనుక

నాకు నా మనఃస్థితి తెలుస్తోందిలే:

అదొక తీరంనుండి సముద్రంలోకి చొచ్చుకొచ్చిన బండరాయి,

దానిమీద ఒక చిన్న గుంత; అందులో, ఎగసినకెరటాలనుండి

జారిపోగా మిగిలిన నీటితో ఏర్పడిన చిన్న మడుగు.

ఆ గోర్వెచ్చని నీరు ఎండకీ, గాలికీ

మెల్లమెల్లగా హరించుకుపోతుంటుంది.

.

ఎడ్నా సెంట్ విన్సెంట్ మిలే

(22 ఫిబ్రవరి 1892 – 19 అక్టోబరు 1950)

అమెరికను కవయిత్రి

.

Ebb

.

I know what my heart is like

      Since your love died:

It is like a hollow ledge

Holding a little pool

      Left there by the tide,

      A little tepid pool,

Drying inward from the edge.

.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

(February 22, 1892 – October 19, 1950)

American Poetess

Poem Courtesy: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44720/ebb

ప్రకటనలు

మండువేసవిలో ఒక సూర్యోదయం… ఆర్చిబాల్డ్ మెక్లీష్, అమెరికను కవి

ఓ ఆకాశమా! విపుల వైశ్వానర స్వరూపమా! విను!

బ్రహ్మాండమైన సూర్యగోళపు గర్జనలు వినిపించకపోవచ్చు నేమో

గానీ, అవి వినలేనంత భీకర శబ్దాలు; వెలుగునే వేడెక్కించగలవవి.

ఓ మహానుభావా! సూర్యుడా! మా ఆత్మలని వెలిగించు, కోరికలు రగిలించు…

మా ఆత్మలకి ప్రేరణనివ్వు! మేము ఈ చీకటిని

చాలా కాలమై ప్రేమిస్తున్నాం. ఈ చీకటికి చితి రగిలించి,

వెలుగుని మరింత ప్రజ్వలనం చెయ్యి. ఎంతగా అంటే

ఆ వేడిలో నిస్తేజమైన ఈ రోజులు రగిలి, ఆ సెగలలో

సుషుప్తిలో మునిగి సగం నిర్జీవమైన మా మనసులు

తిరిగి జ్వలించి నిప్పుకణికల్లా కణకణ మండాలి.

.

ఆర్చిబాల్డ్ మెక్లీష్

(May 7, 1892 – April 20, 1982)

American Poet.

 

.

Midsummer Dawn

Listen! The sky! Vast conflagration!

Inaudible huge roaring of the sun

Too loud to hear, that sets the light on fire!

Kindle our souls, great sun, and our desire—

Kindle our souls! We’ve loved the night

Too long now. Set the dark alight,

The light ablaze, the blaze

To raging through the reek of these dim days

Until our souls,

Half-rotted into selves, burn clean as coals!

.

Archibald MacLeish

(May 7, 1892 – April 20, 1982)

American Poet.

(From Collected Poems 1917-1982)

Poem Courtesy:

https://books.google.co.in/books?id=KI0ESFOvi5QC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=true

 

Sri Visakhapatnam Kanaka Mahalaksmi… Munipalle Raju, Telugu, Indian

On the eve of First Death Anniversary of Sri Munipalle Raju garu

I had been working in Visakhapatnam for long, but I never occasioned to walk the steps of the Simhachalam Temple or visit the village Goddess, Sri Kanaka Mahalakshmi. My aunt had changed it all that with her recent visit. 

Getting down from the train, she expressed her confusion about the name of the city and station, “What, Chinna! The board shows Waltair Station! Do you work here?”

“Waltair and Visakhapatnam are one and the same, auntie! There is no separate station for Visakhapatnam.”

“Then, when will you arrange for the Lord Narasimha’s Dashan at Simhachalam?”

“You have just arrived. Take some rest first. We shall think of that later.”

“Rest? No way. Your uncle was not well when I started. And your two sisters will be eagerly waiting for my return. Arrange some rickshaw to Simhachalam immediately,” she hurried me.

*

I took her to the Simhachalam Temple in the office jeep I came to receive her. She had a leisurely darshan of the lord. The Banana, wild Champac, Coconut, Jackfruit plantations and the Pineapple groves there had immensely pleased her. Tears streamed down when she hugged the “Kappa Stambham”.  I knew the reason:  My cousins, her two daughters, were still unmarried. I was already twenty five. They were much elder to me.

She took some coconut water before we started up the hill. She did not take anything thereafter. She was on fast almost for the whole day. 

*

By the time I returned from office next day, she had already paid a visit to Kanaka Mahalakshmi Temple taking my neighbor’s daughter for escort.

“Chinna! I made a terrible transgression!” she said with deep regrets, “Without visiting the village goddess first, I visited other deities.”

“Don’t worry auntie. Lord of Simhachalam is also the lord of Kalinga, north Andhra upto Godavari plateau. You need not entertain such worries,” I tried to pacify her.

“But no. I am not happy with the grave sin I committed. I sought for her mercy. I vowed to break coconuts on five successive Fridays if she grants me my wishes.” She broke down again recollecting her unfulfilled wish.

My aunt returned home next day. I really wonder at the spiritual strength of that generation. She started almost a month back with a group of pilgrims from Guntur, took pre-dawn cold bath in the Bay of Bengal every day, attended to seasonal rituals of Magha (lunar month) at Puri Jagannath Temple, and without taking rest for a single day dashed to Visakhapatnam and paid visits to Varaha Narasimha of Simhachalam and Kanaka Mahalaksmi. That she continued to put up with the demanding physical stress and strain, not for her own self but her family, amazed me. Though I was not part of that ‘family’ in the strict sense, her spiritual strength seemed to have touched me. I bade her goodbye. She promised to write to me no sooner than her wish was fulfilled.

Skeptics like me may not find a causal relation between taking a vow and favorable events happen thereafter in one’s life. But not people like my aunt. My aunt could find a groom for my elder cousin.  That she would not remain an old unmarried maid gave my aunt a great relief. “It is up to you to fulfil my vow,” she wrote me.

Why do you think I had started off to Kanaka Mahalakshmi Temple this Friday?

To my surprise, I found it behind the Hindu Reading Room I visited regularly. Interestingly, there was no Temple there at all. There was just a small idol sculpted in Kalinga Style … about twenty yards from me on a small platform, without any semblance of shade or shelter, and confined within grills.  

Even the street was not that wide. I strode through the narrow passage flanked by small vendors on either side. I enquired the price of coconut at a shop and felt for the purse with my hands. I was stunned. I had one or two such experiences earlier in Madras but I never expected people would pick pockets of their own ilk in Andhra Pradesh. Somehow, I reconciled to believing that it would never happen here.

I was staring blankly at the electrical pole in front of the tiled house.

“What Babuji! What are you staring at?” the shopkeeper lady asked me.

I lost my purse, I said. I searched for the purse in my hip pocket once more.

“Did you come by city (bus)?” she enquired.

“Yes, I came by city bus.” I said.

“Where did you take the bus?”

“Akkayyapalem…”

“It looks you are not from these parts. Am I right?”

“Yes, of course.”

My slang betrays that.

I have some very strong convictions in this regard.  Language is a double-edged sword. It can instantly bond people with love on one hand and can drive wedge between them inflaming hatred on the other. When I was in Madras, I read slogans like… “Edamillai… Go back Gongura.” on the walls. I heard people raising those slogans behind my back.  Similarly, “This is not place for you. Go back to Andhra,” during Andhra agitation in Hyderabad. Historians may explain that this kind of reactionary agitations would be incited by feudalistic minds to grab power or by NGO’s for securing government jobs. But I was speaking about common people. The so called “common people” that the politicians, press, news media, Assemblies and Parliament speak so ardently about every minute. Of course, it is only they that need that double-edged sword every minute. In the bonfire of hatred they inflame, they never care to think who are natives or who the migrants are, or the political and economic compulsions behind settling in different administrative set ups.

As these thoughts flashed in my memory, I rather asked impatiently to her innocent question, “Why? Is every stranger an evil person?”

“I did not mean that Babuji! I am myself a stranger to this place. I only meant how the non-natives could understand the deceptions of vizagites?”

I felt really ashamed of my unwarranted anger after listening to her cool compassionate reply.  Only then did I pay any attention to her mien and manner. I could not foresee at that moment that I was inviting some unnecessary troubles.

“Please sit down Babuji! You have been standing there all the while.”

I sat on the package box nearby rather comfortably. That being a Friday, the premises around Kanaka Mahalaksmi idol was busy and there must be hundred ladies performing Pooja.

She was arranging a coconut, few flowers, two incense sticks, packets of turmeric powder and vermillion in a bamboo tray briskly and selling to customers for an Anna less or an Anna more. My thoughts turned to her. I tried to conjecture her age… the exact number between twenty and twenty five. Why did she apply such thick line of collyrium to her eyes? She had a small gob and Champac-like nose… may be I was reconciling to such scanty description for want of better expression and ornate language at my disposal. For her well-proportioned ebony body, the dark-colored saree did not match. Hers was a prettiness that could not be grasped but from close.  

“What Babuji? You are sitting idly. Won’t you break a coconut?”

I am sure I was taken aback coming out from my reverie.

“I am not left with any money,” I said.

“Don’t worry. You may fulfil your vow today and pay me next time.”

“Nobody would believe a stranger. I don’t know what makes you believe me. I shall repay you tomorrow.”

“Why do you say that? Can’t we assess people looking at their mien? Why didn’t madam accompany you? Are you a bachelor?”

“Yes, I am a bachelor.”

“Please come back soon. I have to shut down the shop to go to the movie. By mistake you may hand over that bamboo tray in another shop. Remember my name.  I am Malles(p)ari.”

“I shall remember. Malleswari.”

However quick I tried to finish off my work, it took me around twenty minutes.

As I returned the bamboo tray I noticed a man in his shorts and a collared shirt standing at a distance behind the shop. That round-faced, moustache-less man was observing me closely puffing out smoke from a bidi. I saw him somewhere but could not place him in my mind immediately. I was not sure if it was the city bus I came by.

She returned the tray back to me, saying “Babuji, please pay me five rupees.”

To my surprise, I saw the lost purse in that tray.

My people think I am a fool. However, my friends commend my way of thinking. After a long deliberation within, I just wanted to check if I was right.

When I searched for him the hero was not there. He disappeared.

The purse however seemed as voluminous as before. “Mallespari” was winding up her shop.

Giving her a five rupee note, I asked her rather harshly, “What’s this?”

“Babuji! Take it as the miracle of Kanaka Mahalakshmi.  Please count your money. We are not from this place. Why do we need to follow the cunning ways of the locals?  I am already late…”  After taking few steps, she came back and looking into my face she asked, “Isn’t it a vow for five Fridays?”

“Yes, of course, for five Fridays without break.”

This Malleswari must be his mistress. The coconut business was only a front for these riffraff fellows.  But then, why did she return me my purse? There were almost three hundred rupees in it.  You might have read many stories about lumpens of Visakhapatnam before. I had some firsthand experiences with them as well.  I had a different kind of experience with one of them. Poorna Market is a very famous place in Visakhapatnam. It is a centre where if my your misfortune you try to bargain while buying anything like vegetables, fruits, grocery, fish, chicken, or egg, they unleash every kind of abuse on you. Last summer when I went there to purchase mangoes, the lady offered a dozen mangoes at twelve rupees. When I paid her the twelve, she started arguing that she said eighteen per dozen and I did not hear her properly. She wore at least a kilogram gold on her body and unutterable stock of taboo words on her tongue. She refused to take back the mangoes. Finally, she mediated on her own calling me a stranger who did not understand the local language properly and settled the issue for fifteen rupees.  That was a concession for the stranger. And now, this Malleswari would want me to believe it a miracle of Kanaka Mahalakshmi. Why should they bear pity a stranger? That too, a feigned one?

*

I wrote to my aunt that I was fulfilling her vow.  “Please don’t break the continuity,” she expressed her concern and conveyed her blessings. The marriage day was fixed. I must attend.

The next Friday, taking special permission I visited the temple early in the morning to avoid peak hour rush. Yet, it was very already crowded. I passed Malleswari’s shop.

“Hello Babuji! Have you forgotten Malleswari?” Malleswari called me back. Handing over the tray with Pooja material she added, “Babuji! Do you notice the Police Jawan standing there in Khaki shorts? Tell him my name and he will help you finish your job quickly.”

I had to obey. She returned twenty five paise taking five rupees from me.

What could I say? But, to tease her I said, “Malleswari, I did not take city bus today.”

“Please don’t say that,” she pleaded. But ignoring what she said, I left the place in a hurry.

*

Though I could ignore her then, I realized within two days that this uninvited acquaintance was not going to ignore me that easily. When I reached office I came to know of the training program I was waiting for long and I would not get for another two years if I missed this time. Though it was only a two-week training, it has a definite bearing on my career prospects.

That was Thursday. I should leave by night train to Hyderabad. My mind was searching for proper person to delegate the responsibility bidden to me by my aunt. She was the person who supported my college study after my father had died. I was obliged to fulfil her vow. My house owners were Brahmo Samajis. They were against every kind of idol worship. One family I knew were Christians and with another, I developed a sort of rationalist image. So, I could not ask them. I was forced by circumstances to go to Malleswari.

“Babuji! Have you forgotten the day today? It is only Thursday?” she said.

“Yes! But I came here on purpose. I have to leave by night train to another town on important work. Malleswari, you have to help me tomorrow and next week in fulfilling the vow,” I said.

“Babuji! It’s enough if you call me Malli.  We being low-class people is it alright if we perform the vows on your behalf?”

“God cares little who performs. All that is needed is one should perform it whole-heartedly.  Besides, if you change to light color saris from dark, you look as dignified as any lady from upper class,” I said patting myself for the initiative I had taken.

I saw a fleeting flash of pride at my remark in her face. I also noticed her looking at me adoringly.

“Is it so, Babu? What’s wrong with this color?”

There was an unprecedented familiarity in her tone when she called me Babu instead of Babuji.

“I don’t know. You look much better in light colours. Take this money.” 

“I don’t need money. You are going out of the city. It serves your need. You can pay me after your return.”

“Take this. I don’t have any problem.” I handed over her a ten rupee note. And to tease her further, “didn’t you see my purse the other day?  I have enough money with me.”

She seemed embarrassed.

“Did I count? After all, it’s your money. You did not even tell me your name to perform the Pooja,” she complained.

Giving the name of my aunt I walked up a few steps. I suddenly realized somebody was following me from behind. The same fellow. The pickpocket. As I was taking a turn he came in my way. Locking the scooter I turned towards Reading Room. His first warnings were directed towards me…

“Let me warn you! Don’t flirt with that gal. It is not good for your health.”

I already said that I have some firm convictions about people and their behaviour.  If we are afraid of rowdies, they would ride over us … was one of them.

“Who are you to say that?” I shot an angry look at him.

“Don’t you know? Everybody knows this Ramana, including police,” he said. He must be roaming between Berhampur to Nellore. There wasn’t any particular slang in his speech.

“So what?”

“I am from Burma. A Burma evacuee. Why do you dally with that lass?”

“I don’t care if you are a Rangoon Rowdy or a London evacuee. I know you picked my pocket? What is she to you? Are you her husband?”

It was a blind shot. My hunch worked. The result was an evasive answer from a man whose confidence took a dent.

“Should I be her husband? That gal came to me. Don’t suppose her to be a woman from the barracks. You will get a sound beating.”

He was telling me she was not a wanton woman that roam about police barracks. I wanted to give him a taste of what his threats. But with better sense prevailing, I said,

“Oy, Ramana! It is clear that you are a number one fool. Malleswari is a woman of character. I am leaving you without doing harm only for her sake. Better you know about me. I am a magistrate. Never in your life can you get into a bus. Listen. I did not come here to dally with her. I came here for a pious cause. Understand? Get lost!”

The harshness of my voice sounded strange to my own self. But, having been convinced of my opinion about people and their behaviour, I was pleased and thought I could count myself one amongst the social scientists. I started my scooter. There was a lingering concern that I should perhaps have informed Malleswari about this.

Maybe, I was not too convinced about the character of Malleswari whom I defended so strongly. That’s why neither I turned the scooter towards her nor did I remember her during training.

*

I visited my aunt on my way back. I did not want to bore her with my training matters. So I briefed her about the happenings at Visakhapatnam and how I tried to attend to her five-Fridays vow.

When she blessed me saying, “You are so innocent at heart Chinna! If you have developed faith and devotion, it is only because of the blessings of Goddess Kanaka Mahalakshmi,” I felt sure Malleswari did not break the continuity. And as for my elder cousin, what could I speak of her delight! She was happy to get an employed groom who did not insist on dowry. Marriage was to be performed soon. It’s nothing short of dreams coming true!

I reported for duty on Friday. As I was feeling happy that with the last instalment that evening was a culmination of fulfilling my aunt’s vow, Ramana and Malleswari flashed in my memory. Suddenly and I felt guilty to delegate that responsibility to such an unscrupulous woman. I wondered why I could not see through her intentions when she returned my purse.

Setting aside all my apprehensions, I got ready to go to the temple taking bath afresh in the evening. I took a rickshaw to the temple. Malleswari’s shop bore a desolate look. The person was also not there. I bought the necessary ingredients from the neighboring shopkeeper who was keenly watching me. I paid my oblation to the goddess with due confession and seeking forgiveness for the lapses.

Malleswari was standing in front of me. There were two halves of a coconut almost smelling foul and a half a rupee coin in her hands. She looked an incarnation of grief and her eyes were teeming with tears ready to break the barrier any moment.

“Babu! I looked for you in the morning. I know you will come any way in the evening. I fulfilled your vow without break.”

“What happened?” I asked her. It was then I noticed she donned a light-color saree. Her beauty was not without… it was manifesting from within. I was so overwhelmed with pity, gratitude and passion that I was tempted to embrace that unlettered girl and reassure her. But can I do so in public?

“Get into the rickshaw,” I asked her as the street lights were put on. She got in without any hesitation.

“Did you take your lunch?’ I asked.

She turned her head indicating she did not.

Sitting in the restaurant cabin on the first floor, and holding the reins of my emotions I enquired,

“Malli! Do you have any schooling?”

She looked at me bewildered and said,

“I studied up to class nine.”

“Then why do you speak like an unlettered person?”

“Babu! Do you know the kind of people I live among? If I show any superiority on that count, do you think my life will be safe?”

Very pragmatic and undecorated fact.

“Then why did you entertain such a mean fellow like Ramana?”

The way she looked at me conveyed that she pitied my innocence.

“Babu! Many creepers grow in the forest. If there is no support of a tree or stump for them to entwine, they will be mercilessly stomped and trampled by every beast and bovine. Without Ramana, my life would become wretched. Will this world allow a woman to live on her own? Babu! This is a wild … wild… forest.”

She stopped eating and started crying.

I understood Malleswari too had her own convictions about people and their behaviour.

“Why are you weeping?” I asked.

“She was thrown into a jail Babu! When he was selling tickets in black-market at the theatres, I restrained him. When he was picking pockets, I fought with him and stopped. I reasoned him out to run our business with dignity. He will agree to everything. But, no sooner the day turns to night, devil seizes him. He runs away to play “Matka”. Without playing that game he will not be at peace.  They caught him red-handed the other day thieving along with others near harbor. He is such a timid fellow that cannot do such things on his own. Only the bad company has encouraged him.”

“If he is really timid, how could he dare to challenge me that day?”

As if she wanted to explain me an esoteric truth, she pulled her chair forward.

“Babu! I came to know about that. I chided him. I censured him. When I speak with other men…” she paused…

“Yes, I can understand. He gets jealous.”

“Whatever it is. He doesn’t like anybody speaking ill of me.”

I tried to assess the situation she was in.

“Malli! You sold out all your ware and spent for Ramana. Isn’t it?”

She kept mum.

After a while she said, “I thought I could bail him out. But it did not work out.”

“Do one thing. Don’t you think you need to take care of yourself?”

“Babu! I trusted you will come to my rescue. Goddess Kanaka Mahalaksmi never failed me.”

I pulled out three notes from my purse.

“How much it costs to start your business all over again?”

She made some calculations and said, “one hundred and fifty rupees, Babu!”

I gave her the money. And added, “I make enquiries how to bail out Ramana. I can inform you the progress only after two days.”

As I was about to leave, she stopped me and said, “Didn’t he brag about that he was from Burma and an evacuee?”

“Yes.”

“But it was all a white lie. He was conceited. He comes from a small village near Vizianagaram. I am from Anakapalle. We eloped in the style of cinemas.”

“And yet, you did not stop seeing cinemas.”

“What can we do?” 

She answered the root-cause of all problems, helplessness, in a matter-of-fact way.

“I changed to light colors on your advice.”

I noticed it before. Amidst all her engulfing grief and helplessness, she did not lose hope of life. Can I cultivate that urge? Never.

Unable to say anything in return, I said, “I don’t like you speaking in that slang.”

*

I got my promotion and with it my transfer. I had a week’s time to report at the new place. And my sister’s marriage was few days thereafter.

*

I was busy for the next three days. Malleswari was attending to her business as usual when I went there. She tried to give me a coconut.

“Let me come to it later. But first listen. I arranged for Ramana’s bail. But he will get two months sentence for sure. Go to this address. The pleader will identify you. They release Ramana on bail either tomorrow or the day after. Put him under your control at least from now on.”

She was awe-struck. “You… you…” she was searching for words to say something.

“I got my transfer and I am leaving.”

Taking coconut from her, I expressed my lingering doubt, “by the way, he will not run away during bail period. Isn’t it?”

Perhaps she was trying to regroup herself to speak, she answered standing in the shade of the pillar,

“No, Babu! He cannot leave me!”

“Good! Bye!”

“But Babu, shall I return your money by money order?”

“You can do it later. Not now.  Besides, I may turn up at Visakhapatnam in future.”

I did not look back.

Possibly, she might not have understood the import of my words. Yet, I was happy for what I did.

*

Next day, I booked my scooter by railway parcel and reached my room very late. Malleswari was sitting at the doorstep. It was late in the night. Almost ten o’ clock.

“What happened? Did they release Ramana on bail?”

“They said they would release him tomorrow afternoon.”

As I entered the room, she followed me.

“Why did you trouble yourself coming all the way to inform this? And that too, at this late hour?”

“Babu! How much did you pay to the lawyer?”

“Don’t bother about it. Take a rickshaw and go home. It is late already.”

She did not leave. She was standing. She donned a light blue sari and the jasmines in her tresses were wafting sweet scents around.

“I want to sleep here tonight.” She said in her natural sonorous tone looking at me. She was looking at me through the silence. She was manifesting her beauty under the electrical lights. It was a prolonged silence where I was recovering myself.

“You wanted to repay your debt with your youth. Isn’t it?” I asked.

She did not reply.

“You owe me nothing. There was no debt or obligation between us. In fact, it is us who are beholden to people like you. Malli! I am not sure if you can understand what I say. But, ours is an irredeemable debt. It grows with interest every day. When did I take you to the hotel? Yesterday or the day before? I would have brought you to my room thinking mean of you. But your view of life, and your trust in me reopened my eyes. You taught me a great moral, standing on the high pedestal of a Guru! Please come. Let me arrange a safe passage home!”

As she tried to touch my feet before getting into a rickshaw, I refrained her.

“Don’t you allow me even to pay my respects? Goddess Kanaka Mahalakshmi put me to a severe test.  It is you who passed the test, not me!”

They did not sound cinematic. They touched my ears like the subtle ripplings from a grief-stricken heart. 

Rickshaw-puller intervened saying, “the days when due respect was accorded to elders were gone. There is nothing wrong in her paying respects to you. Let her!”

The rickshaw melted into the night leaving the silence behind.

I left Visakhapatnam soon.

But, how can I forget the Visakhapatnam Kanaka Mahalakshmi who restored my pride of being a human being!

Never! Never ever!    

*

Munipalle Raju

(16th Mar 1925 – 24th Feb 2018)

Telugu, Indian

First Published Swati (June 1987)

చిత్రం… లూయీ అంటర్ మేయర్, అమెరికను కవి

ఊపిరి తీయనివీ, కంటి చూపు లేనివీ,

వాటికే మరణం లేకపోవడం ఏమిటి?!

చైతన్యం ఎరుగని ఒక బండరాయికీ, పిసరంత

నేలకీ శాశ్వతత్వం అనుగ్రహించబడటం ఏమిటి?!

ఒక ధూళికణం, ఒక మట్టి బెడ్డ

భగవంతుడి అపురూపమైన వరానికి నోచుకుంటాయి.

దారి పక్కన పడుండే గులకరాయికి

చావు లేదు.

మన తాత ముత్తాతలు కోసిన గడ్డి పరకలు

ఇప్పుడు వాళ్ళ సమాధులమీద మొలుస్తున్నాయి.

కనీ కనిపించకుండా ప్రవహించే పిల్లకాలువలు

అనవరతంగా ప్రవహిస్తూ ఎండిపోతుంటాయి.

పేలవంగా, నిశ్చలంగా పడి ఉండే ఇసకరేణువులకి

ఎటువంటి మరణమూ లేదు.

మనిషి బలవంతుడూ, తెలివైనవాడూ,

గొప్పవాడూ కనుకనే అతనికి మరణం.

.

లూయీ అంటర్ మేయర్

(October 1, 1885 – December 18, 1977)

అమెరికను కవి

.

.

Irony

Why are the things that have no death 

The ones with neither sight nor breath! 

Eternity is thrust upon 

A bit of earth, a senseless stone. 

………………

………………

Left blank for copyright reasons

……………………. 

The grass our fathers cut away 

Is growing on their graves to-day;         

The tiniest brooks that scarcely flow 

Eternally will come and go. 

…………………………

Left blank for copyright reasons

…………………………..

But Man is great and strong and wise—         

                       And so he dies. 

.

Louis Untermeyer

(October 1, 1885 – December 18, 1977)

American Poet, Critic and editor

Poem Courtesy:

https://allpoetry.com/poems/read_by/Louis%20Untermeyer?page=1

కేవలం ఒక సామాన్య సైనికుడు … లారెన్స్ వెయిన్ కోర్ట్, కెనేడియన్ కవి

.

అతను బాన పొట్టతో, జుత్తు రాలిపోతూ త్వరగా ముసలివాడైపోయాడు

అతను మందిచుట్టూ చేరి, గతాన్ని కథలు కథలుగా చెప్పేవాడు…

అతను పాల్గొన్న యుద్ధాలగురించీ, అతని సాహసకృత్యాలగురించీ,

సాటి సైనికులతోఆటు సాధించిన విజయాలగురించీ, అందులో అందరూ వీరులే.

అప్పుడప్పుడు అతని చుట్టుప్రక్కలవాళ్ళకి అవి హాస్యాస్పదంగా కనిపించేవి

కానీ అతనితో పనిచేసినవాళ్లందరూ వినేవారు అతనేం మాటాడుతున్నాడో తెలుసు గనుక

ఇకనుంచి మనం అతని కథలు వినలేము, కారణం బిల్ చచ్చిపోయాడు

ప్రపంచం ఒక సైనికుని మరణం వల్ల కొంత నష్టపోయింది.

అతని మరణానికి శోకించేవరు ఎక్కువమంది లేరు: అతని భార్యా, పిల్లలూ అంతే!

ఎందుకంటే అతను అతి సామాన్యమైన జీవితం గడిపాడు, పెద్ద విశేషాలేమీ లేవు.

అతనికి ఉద్యోగం ఉండేది, సంసారం చేశాడు, తనమానాన్న తను బ్రతికాడు.

ఈ రోజు ఒక సైనికుడు మరణించినా, అతని మరణాన్ని దేశం గుర్తించదు.

 

అదే రాజకీయ నాయకులు మరణిస్తే, శరీరాన్ని ప్రజల దర్శనార్థం

ఉంచుతారు, వేలమంది అతని మరణానికి విచారించి గొప్పవాడని కీర్తిస్తారు.

పత్రికలు సైతం బాల్యంనుండీ వాళ్ళ జీవిత సంగ్రహాన్ని ప్రచురిస్తాయి,

కానీ ఒక సైనికుడి మరణం ఏ గుర్తింపుకీ, పొగడ్తలకీ నోచుకోదు.

ఈ దేశ శ్రేయస్సుకి అమూల్యమైన సేవని ఎవరు చేశారు

ఇచ్చిన వాగ్దానాల్ని నిలబెట్టుకోక ప్రజల్ని మోసగించిన వాడా?

లేక, సామాన్యమైన జీవితం గడుపుతూ, విపత్కర సమయం వచ్చినపుడు

ఈ దేశానికి సేవచెయ్యడానికి తన జీవితాన్ని సైతం సమర్పించేవాడా?

ఒక రాజకీయనాయకుడికి వచ్చే జీతం అతని జీవన శైలీ

ఒక్కోసారి అతను దేశానికి చేసే సేవకి అనులోమానుపాతంలో ఉండవు.

తన సర్వస్వాన్నీ అర్పించే ఒక సామాన్య సైనికుడికి దక్కేది

మహా అయితే ఒక ప్రశంసా పతకమూ, పిసరంత పింఛనూ.

వాళ్ళని మరిచిపోవడం సహజం, ఎందుకంటే వాళ్ళెప్పుడో పనిచేశారు

ఆ ముసలి “బిల్” లాంటి సైనికులు ఎప్పుడో యుద్ధంలో పాల్గొన్నారు. కానీ

మనకు తెలుసు, ఈనాడు దేశం అనుభవిస్తున్న స్వాతంత్య్రాన్ని తెచ్చిపెట్టింది

తమ కూహలూ, రాజీలు పన్నాగాలు పన్నే రాజకీయనాయకులు కాదని.

ఎదురుగా శత్రువు మోహరించి, మీరు ఆపదలో చిక్కుకున్నప్పుడు, ఎన్నడూ

ఒక అభిప్రాయం మీద నిలబడని రాజకీయనాయకుడి సాయం కోరుతారా?

లేక తన నేలనీ, జాతిపౌరుల్నీ, దేశాన్నీ రక్షించడానికి కడదాకా

పోరాడుతానని ప్రతిజ్ఞచేసిన సైనికుడి సహాయం అర్థిస్తారా?

అతనొక సామాన్య సైనికుడు. అతనిలాంటివాళ్ళు క్రమంగా సన్నగిలుతున్నారు.

కానీ అతని సమక్షం అలాంటివాళ్లు మనకి కావాలని గుర్తుచెయ్యాలి.

దేశాలు యుద్ధంలో చిక్కినపుడు రాజకీయనాయకులు ప్రారంభించిన

సమస్యలకి పరిష్కారం కనుక్కోవలసిన బాధ్యత సైనికుడిదే.

మన మధ్య ఉన్నప్పుడు అతన్ని తగినవిధంగా గౌరవించలేకపొయినా

మరణించిన తర్వాతనైనా మనం అతనికి శ్రద్ధాంజలి ఘటిద్దాం.

కేవలం, ప్రతి వార్తాపత్రికలోనూ మొదటిపేజీలో చిన్న మకుటం :

ఒక సైనికుడు ఈ రోజు మరణించినందుకు దేశం దుఃఖంలో మునిగి ఉంది. 

.

లారెన్స్ వెయిన్ కోర్ట్,

(1923   –  20th April 2009)

కెనేడియన్ కవి

read the full poem here:

A. Lawrence Vaincourt

.

Just a Common Soldier

(A Soldier Died Today) 

.

He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,

And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,

In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.

deliberately left blank  for copyright reasons

He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,

For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.

Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,

And the world won’t note his passing, though a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,

While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,

But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.

…. deliberately left blank  for copyright reasons

A politician’s stipend and the style in which he lives

Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.

While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,

Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.

… deliberately left blank  for copyright reasons

Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,

Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?

Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend

His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?

...

deliberately left blank  for copyright reasons

If we cannot do him honor while he’s here to hear the praise,

Then at least let’s give him homage at the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,

Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.

.

 

 A. Lawrence Vaincourt

1923  – 20th April 2009

Canadian Poet

Read the complete Poem here

బట్టలుతికిన రోజు …జూలియా వార్డ్ హోవ్, అమెరికను కవయిత్రి

బట్టలారవేసిన తీగ … కుటుంబంలో

ప్రేమకీ, సేవకీ ఒక రుద్రాక్షమాల వంటిది;

తల్లి ప్రేమించే ప్రతి చిన్న దేవదూత

దుస్తులూ అక్కడ మనకి దర్శనం ఇస్తాయి.

ఆమె పెరటిలో ఆలోచనలలో మునిగి

దండెం మీద ఒక్కొక్కబట్టా ఆరవేస్తున్నప్పుడు

ప్రతి బట్టనీ ఒక రుద్రాక్షపూసగా

పరిగణిస్తుందంటే ఆశ్చర్యపోనక్కరలేదు.

అపరిచితవ్యక్తినైన నేను అటువైపుగా పోతూ

ఆ ఇంటికీ, దుస్తులకీ ఒక అంజలి ఘటిస్తాను

ప్రేమపూర్వకమైన శ్రమకీ, ప్రార్థనకీ గల దగ్గరపోలిక

మదిలో మెదలినపుడు పెదాలపై చిరునవ్వు మెరుస్తుంది.

.

జూలియా వార్డ్ హోవ్

(27 May 1819 –  17 October 1910) 

అమెరికను కవయిత్రి 

 

Julia Ward Howe

.

A Thought for Washing Day

.

The clothes-line is a Rosary

Of household help and care;

Each little saint the Mother loves

Is represented there.

And when across her garden plot

She walks, with thoughtful heed,

I should not wonder if she told

Each garment for a bead.

A stranger passing, I salute

The Household in its wear,

And smile to think how near of kin

Are love and toil and prayer.

.

Julia Ward Howe

(Written between (1879 – 1882) Published in her daughter’s biography, Julia Ward Howe (1819 – 1910) which earned Laura E Richards and Maud Howe Elliott the Pulitzer Prize in 1917.)

Poem and Image Courtesy:

https://americanliterature.com/author/julia-ward-howe/poem/a-thought-for-washing-day

ఎలా? … షెల్ సిల్వర్ స్టీన్, అమెరికను కవి…

నిన్న రాత్రి, అలా ఆలోచిస్తూ విశ్రమిస్తుంటే,

కొన్ని ‘ఎలా?” అన్న భయాలు నా చెవిలో దూరి

రాత్రల్లా గెంతులేస్తూ, పండగ చేసుకుంటూ

వాటి పాత పల్లవి “ఎలా? ఎలా?” ని అందుకున్నాయి:

స్కూలో నేను సరిగా మాటాడలేకపోతే ఎలా?

వాళ్ళు ఈత కొలను మూసెస్తే ఎలా?

ఒకవేళ ఎవరైనా నన్ను చితక్కొట్టెస్తే ఎలా?

నా కప్పులో ఎవరైనా విషం కలిపితే ఎలా?

ఒకవేళ నేను ఏడవడం మొదలెడితే ఎలా?

ఒకవేళ నాకు రోగం వచ్చి చచ్చిపోతే ఎలా?

నేను ఆ పరీక్షలో తప్పితే ఎలా?

నా ఛాతీమీద ఆకుపచ్చ రోమాలు మొలిస్తే ఎలా?

నేనంటే ఎవరికీ ఇష్టం లేకపొతే ఎలా?

మెరుపు మెరిసి నామీద పిడుగుపడితే ఎలా?

నేను ఎదగకుండా మరుగుజ్జుగా ఉండిపోతే ఎలా?

నా తల రోజురోజుకీ కుంచించుకుపోతే ఎలా?

నా గాలానికి చేప చిక్కకపోతే ఎలా?

సుడిగాలి నా గాలిపటాన్ని చింపిపోగుపెడితే ఎలా?

ఒకవేళ వాళ్ళే యుద్ధం మొదలెడితే ఎలా?

ఒకవేళ అమ్మా నాన్నా విడిపోతే ఎలా?

బస్సు ఒకవేళ ఆలస్యంగా వస్తే ఎలా?

నా దంతాలు తిన్నగా మొలవకపొతే ఎలా?

పొరపాటున నేను నా పంట్లాం చించేసుకుంటే ఎలా?

జీవితంలో నేను ఎన్నడూ నాట్యం నేర్చుకోలేకపోతే ఎలా?

అన్నీ సవ్యంగానే ఉన్నాయి. అంతా బాగానే ఉంది.

కానీ చీకటిపడితే చాలు, “ఎలా?” అన్న భయాలు తలెత్తుతుంటాయి.

.

షెల్ సిల్వర్ స్టీన్

(September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999)

అమెరికను కవి

.

Shel Silverstein

(Sheldan Allan Silverstein)

(September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999)

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
.

What-if? 

.

Last night, while I lay thinking here,

some What-ifs crawled inside my ear

and pranced and partied all night long

and sang their same old What-if song:

What-if I’m dumb in school?

What-if they’ve closed the swimming pool?

What-if I get beat up?

What-if there’s poison in my cup?

What-if I start to cry?

What-if I get sick and die?

What-if I flunk that test?

What-if green hair grows on my chest?

What-if nobody likes me?

…..

….

….

… (Deliberately left blank for copyright reasons)

….

….

….

….

….

 

Everything seems well, and then

the nighttime What-ifs strike again!

.

Shel Silverstein

(September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999)

American Poet

 

Read the poem in full here

కాలం… హెన్రీ వాన్ డైక్, అమెరికను

కాలం

ఎదురుచూసే వారికి బహునెమ్మదిగా గడుస్తుంది

భయపడే వారికి మరీ తొందరగా గడిచిపోతుంది

శోకించేవారికి ఎంతకీ తరగదు

ఆనందంతో గంతులేసేవాళ్లకి ఇట్టే పరిగెడుతుంది

కానీ ప్రేమికులకి

అసలు దాని ఉనికే తెలీదు.

.

హెన్రీ వాన్ డైక్ Jr.

(November 10, 1852 – April 10, 1933)

అమెరికను కవి

Henry Van Dyke Jr.

 

Time is…

.

Time is

Too slow for those who wait,

Too Swift for those who Fear,

Too long for those who grieve,

Too Short for those who rejoice;

But for those who Love,

Time is not.

 .

Henry Van Dyke Jr.

(November 10, 1852 – April 10, 1933)

American

Poem Courtesy: https://americanliterature.com/author/henry-van-dyke/poem/time-is

 

నాకు నక్షత్రగతులు తెలుసు, కానీ… సారా టీజ్డేల్, అమెరికను కవయిత్రి

నాకు పేరు పేరునా నక్షత్రాలు తెలుసు

ఆల్డెబరాన్ (రోహిణి), ఆల్టేర్ (శ్రవణం) …

విశాలమైన నీలాకాశపు నెచ్చెన

అవి ఎలా ఎక్కుతాయో కూడా తెలుసును.

వాళ్ళు చూసే చూపులనుబట్టి

మగవాళ్ళ రహస్యాలు పసిగట్టగలను

వారి వింత వింత, చీకటి ఆలోచనలు

బాధకలిగించడంతో పాటు జాగ్రత్తనీ బోధించాయి.

కానీ నీ కళ్ళే నా ఊహకి అందటం లేదు,

అవి పదే పదే పిలుస్తున్నట్టు అనిపిస్తున్నా…

నువ్వు నన్ను ప్రేమిస్తున్నావో లేదో తెలీదు

అలాగని, అసలు ప్రేమించటం లేదనీ చెప్పలేను.

నాకు చాలా విషయాలు తెలుసును. ఏం లాభం?

సంవత్సరాలు వస్తున్నాయి, పోతున్నాయి,

చివరకి నేను తెలుసుకుందామని ఉబలాటపడేది

బహుశా తెలుసుకోకుండానే మరణిస్తాను.

.

సారా టీజ్డేల్

 (8 August 1884 – 29 January 1933)

అమెరికను కవయిత్రి

Sara Teasdale

(August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933)

.

I Know the stars

.

I know the stars by their names

Aldebaran, Altair

And I know the path they take

Up the heaven’s broad blue stair

I know the secrets of men

By the look of their eyes

Their gray thoughts, their strange thoughts

Have made me sad and wise.

But your eyes are dark to me

Though they seem to call and call—

I cannot tell if you love me

Or do not love me at all.

I know many things,

But years come and go,

I shall die not knowing

The thing I long to know.

.

Sara Teasdale

(8 August 1884 – 29 January 1933)

American Lyrical Poet

వివేచనల కావల… జలాలుద్దీన్ రూమీ, పెర్షియన్ కవి

ఇది మంచీ అది చెడూ అన్న వివేచనల కావల

ఒక సీమ ఉంది. నిన్నక్కడ కలుసుకుంటాను.

అక్కడ పచ్చిక మీద ఆత్మ విశ్రమించినపుడు

మనసంతా నిండుగా ఉండి మాటాడబుద్ధి వెయ్యదు.

ఆలోచనలూ, భాష, చివరకి ఒకరినికరు పలకరించుకునే

మాటలకు కూడా ఏమీ అర్థం కనిపించదు.

.

జలాలుద్దీన్ రూమీ

పెర్షియను కవి

13 వ శతాబ్దం

Jalal ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi
Image Courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi

 

Out Beyond Ideas …

.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing,

there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other

doesn’t make any sense.

.

Jalaluddin Rumi

Persian Mystic 

13th century

(From Essential Rumi

Tr. by Coleman Barks)

Poem Courtesy: http://peacefulrivers.homestead.com/rumipoetry1.html#anchor_13839

 

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