A Nepali poem by Swapnil Smriti, translated by Pranika Koyu
You have a right to ask every question.
That ageing Himalaya is your ancestor.
The deep sky is your wish.
The playful breeze bustling from one tree to the other
Is your life.
Those winding roads, hanging around the hills across, like the strings
Are your dreams.
Your two eyes and
The innumerable stars are kin.
All the snow of the winter,
All the flowers of the seasons,
Are like a transient rainbow.
And a short kiss I plant on your cheek —
It is our life.
The one who bore and raised you,
And made you this lovable
That is the Earth.
She is our mother — both yours and mine.
My dear son!
Be ready with questions of all kinds.
About the moon by the bamboo grove
That wanes for fifteen days
And waxes for fifteen days
Never, Never, ask …
Why, at times, does it rise in the afternoon?
Why, at times, does it become a crescent?
Oh simpleton, it is like that only…
I replied —
That is the long-lost love of your father’s youth!
Swapnil Smriti (b. Nov. 14, 1981), a contemporary Nepali poet, hails from Panchthar district, and resides in Lalitpur at the present. He works at Nepal Academy of Music and Drama. He has to his credit two anthologies of poetry: Ranggai rangako Veer (2005) and Baduli Ra Suduura Samjhana (2011). Smriti is of the opinion that poetry is an artistic outburst of the subconscious mind.
Translator’s Bio: Pranika Koyu is a poet and human rights activist. Her poems highlight socio-political context of women in Nepal. Bhaav is her first anthology. Her poems translated in English have been have been published in Zubaan and Mitra. She is the editor of Chronicles of Silence.
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