Latest version – 10 January, 2020

    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 Surja Sankar Ray for his interpretation of the poem as well as his advice on the many drafts preceding what has been posted.

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