Poetry at Sangam



MEMORY: TWO by Mangalesh Dabral

(Translated from the Hindi by Daisy Rockwell.)

A scene of an old house
built by the life-breath of many

In that scene
flowers blossomed stars glimmered water flowed
and time, like sunlight from a mountain peak,
appeared descending step by step
That scene is no longer there—just a ruin remains
And you have wanted to return for so long
but not to that ruin
You know quite well it can’t be done
All returns are to places uprooted
to a residue, a past, and a history
to the nonexistence of a scene

This is why you walk in front, not behind
feeling your way in the darkness
aided by an imaginary light
toward some other place, some other time
Memory is another time where suddenly you see
that sight: the home filled with the breathing of people
where flowers blossom stars glimmer water flows
and sunlight descends from a mountain peak