Poetry from Nepal by Mahesh Paudyal
In a small gathering on the lawn
The poet was reciting his verses.
A little away, some masons and labours were busy
The poet stopped, looked at them, and yelled—
“Stop your pranks! Can’t you see I am reading a poem?”
The workers were silent. The poet recited his verses.
Much later, when everyone was gone
The workers resumed their life-song.
I don’t know if the poet heard it.
Emperor and the Kids
“Emperor, we are hungry!”
This sounded like a shooting lullaby;
The Emperor slept for one more century.
“Emperor, please lend us your crown for a while;
We will play the king-queen game and return.”
The Emperor ordered:
“Officer! Send these children out of the four passes!
They are here to spread measles.”
Perhaps it’s time that writes our existence.
No matter how much you try
To glow in broad daylight
You need to wait for the night
To make yourself visible
Blow on, storm!
Blow with all your might!
Unless there is wind
And unless a few homes and roofs are betumbled
No one writes
An epic on air, the puny thing!
All smoke rising from the earth
But the sky is never called the country of smoke
It is always called
The land of the stars and moons
These poems are excerpted from his latest collection, Notes of Silent Times
Mahesh Paudyal is a Nepali poet, storywriter, critic and translator. A lecturer of English at Tribhuvan University, Mr. Paudyal has written extensively for children and adult readers, and has translated more than 2 dozen books from Nepali into English. His major works include Tadi Kinarko Geet (novel), Tyaspachhi Phulena Godavari (stories), Of Walls and Pigeons (stories), Sunya Praharko Sakshi (poems) and Notes of Silent Times (poems). Among his seminal translations are Dancing Soul of Mount Everest (representative modern Nepali poems), Radha (an award-winning novel by Krishna Dharabasi), Unfinished Memoirs and Prison Notes by Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman and Silver Cascades (representative Nepali short stories.) A recipient of Nepal Bidhyabhushan, Narendramani Dixit Gold Medal, Bimal Gurung Memorial Award, Sudish Niraula Memorial and Prasiddha Kandel Memorial Award, he has also represented Nepal in many international literary seminars.]
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