Poetry at Sangam



MEMORY: ONE by Mangalesh Dabral

(Translated from the Hindi by Daisy Rockwell.)

Lantern light shines through the window bars
like yellow blossoms
The ancient sound of a harmonium, borne aloft in the breeze
glistens like tiny delicate clouds
Evening comes to sit on the doorstep like a quiet child
Women pass through with grasses and wood from the forest
bare feet slapping the courtyard

Much time has passed since then
Several monsoons have washed through and dried up again
Snow has fallen and melted, again and again
Rocks have tumbled down and rolled away
Fruit trees that blossomed in the courtyard have grown even taller
The people have departed as well, seeking new refuges
locking the doors of their homes

Lantern light like yellow blossoms
still emanates from that sight now worn away
The strains of a harmonium float like clouds
the slapping of the feet of women
bearing grasses and wood from the jungle through the courtyard