Translations by Thoithoi O’Cottage of sixty-two poems selected from Tranströmer’s ten poetry collections. The book was launched by N. Kiran Kumar, Convener of Manipuri Language Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, at the Auditorium of Library & Information Center, Kakching Phoushupat Leikai on 4 May 2018. The launch was presided over by writer and educationist Kunjo Pukhrambam, and poet and novelist Dr. Pukhrambam Rajendra and poet, short story writer and critic Biprachand Pukhrambam spoke about the book.
Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place, New Delhi hosted a poetry reading session on the evening of 9 February 2018. That was part of the run-up readings to Delhi Poetry Festival 5 (IIT, New Delhi, 23 – 25 February 2018). Over a score of poets gathered on that calm evening. The program was organized in collaboration with Petrichor, a creative writing society of over 120 members based in Venkateswara College of Delhi University.
Petrichor started as a club in the Department of English of the college to provide the students poets and writers with a consciously nurturing space for creativity, which was nonexistent there then. The society has collaborated with Oxford Bookstore, CP, New Delhi, and Delhi Poetry Festival.
Poets from Petrichor, including Arijit Roy, founder and President of the society, also read their poems. I photographed all of the poets while they were reading their poems. Some of them are below. These photographs may not be of all those Petrichor poets. If any poet is missing, I will add them here soon. As I don’t know anything about them yet, not even their names (except of a couple of them), I have left the photographs with no textual accompaniment. I will request Arijit to tell me at least their names. It would be a great idea to post a few poems each (including the ones they read that evening) along with the poets’ photographs.
There are various other versions of the photographs here. If the poets want any or all of the versions to be sent to them, write to Lake Bard here. It may take some time but Thoithoi O’Cottage replies. As he does this just in the interest of the poets and not for any commercial purposes, he entertains requests at his leisure.
A Dogri writer and poet with a beautiful voice living in Jammu. Literary translator translating from Dogri to Hindi and English, and vice versa. Lecturer of Botany in the School Education Department of the State Government of Jammu & Kashmir. Newscaster at Radio Kashmir and news anchor at Doordarshan Jammu.
She read some of her poems at the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi’s annual Festival of Letters on 16 February 2018.
Manipuri poet and playwright, Srilekhak (born Ksh. Mohan) at the launch of Yengkhom Kengba’s Manipuri novel at ROLs in January 2017. Srilekhak is one of the most experimental poets in Manipur. Influenced much by the Japanese haiku tradition of the east and the imagist and modern poetry, his poetry is characteristically sharp and formal as its primary drive. His metaphors and similes are unusually powerful unlike any other Manipuri poets among his contemporaries or younger generations.
His once-famous Times Printers (late 1980s – 1997), located on the leirak across from the old post office building at Kakching Khunyai Leikai, was the center of literature in the town of Kakching. Besides printing almost every literature book and magazine published during that period here, he regularly hosted literary readings and critical sessions in his press office.
My translations of his two poetry collections will soon come out from LSC.
in its primeval namelless oneness
unsliced by ticking swords
of cartographers and historians
only to be punctuated
by bright splashes from
a leaking faucet. God’s sake–off with it.
It’d have got on her nerves.
A light sleeper.
At a distance
a howling dog is
rolling up his plaints
yet again tonight. I am not a god.
The dew must have brought
them down back to the dust,
and the wind drifts them to
dark windows with no shades or panes.
A short rest to the wheeze,
and the drips beat yet clearer–
a city bright atop a mountain
on the darkest night of the year–
and the watch’s whistle dampened and
fitful sirens and nightly grainy traffic
mis-shaped by the sinewy wind of December
make a shy creep into my ear canals
for attention in the lucid dark.
I can’t still fix it with
closed eyes–wool in a tangle.
Open eyes and I find
the dense stands of darkness
bending over me and staring against
the monochrome walls and ceiling
grained by the diffused city lights
through the smuggling holes
from the leaves in a scret communion.
The dog is still rolling up
his howls heavenward (or is
he now rolling them down?)–
it feels like each fine dewflake
murmurs a grain of howl in an echo.
The town where I grew up
is not a western town
or an eastern town.
It’s stuck in the middle with
the warriors, east of India
and the wobbly devastator,
west of the Chindwin.
Beyond that the west walks
into the blues on the sandy plains,
and the east through palms
and across rapids.
In the lurid cities
where they paint their street crawlers
red, green, blue and yellow
in full intensity,
where they dye their clothes
like spring flowers in full bloom,
where they paint everything deep bright
and strange faces stir them
like that curiosity, all of a sudden,
is what they were born for–
there they get the barking dog
more than your eloquence.
They complain you don’t love the dog,
and I see you don’t hate
the street dogs, nameless as the homeless.
The chemist’s son from the ancient
town outskirts, a cat lover,
once when he went with his cat
to the east on a shooting trip,
found a Burmese poet pissing
music from his mouth while
the actor’s cat slurped milk off
his small upturned lips.
That was a family slurp.
The static of the east air swaddled
the poet’s trunk into a muzzled
pig squeak the actor knew.