In its stead then, you receive A silent pool wrought just for you A looking glass clear and painted blue Water, light filled, glows -- Image of a branch, flowers bowed The fluttering sail of a violet cloud A fulfilled heart assures -- An inward eye can all perceive. In its stead then, you receive Musings mundane, void and bare Dusty feet marked paths that stare Winds sucked dry of tears -- A distant familiar voice might call During a midday, bereft of all No one turns and hears! These too did you have to leave.
Translation-cum-transcreation of a classic Bengali poem বিনিময় (binimoy, meaning exchange) by Amiya Chakravarty. The poem was published around 1953 in a collection of Chakravarty’s poems entitled পারাপার (parapar, meaning ferrying across). I take this opportunity to thank my wonderful friend Professor Surja Sankar Ray for his interpretation of the poem as well as his advice on the many drafts of the translation. Without his help the work would have remained incomplete.