Poetry at Sangam




(Translated from the Tamil by Lakshmi Holmström)

In the midst of a thicket
beside a pond that has fed on the morning
and spreads out in beauty
I search for the pathway that I have lost.

Just as the darkness of the dense trees
threatens to snatch me up and swallow me
a compassionate angel appears
to close up my dark hole of fear
and to retrieve three pledges
even from the depths of the mysterious pond:

to light up the path I lost
to re-thread a shattered dream from my youth
to imagine an entirely new dream.
And while I find again my path,
straighten an old dream that was askew,
relish a new dream once more,
through tongues of fire that flame my eyes
I see the angel treading the earth
her clothes steeped in green.