Darkness is better than Light

Hem Barua

We've no frenzied desire to leave our footprints
On the sand-banks of time.
We seem to be thriving fossils on the rocks of history
Lines in the odourless and languageless pictures.

Hey Sakuntala,
In the jasmine-petals of your eyes
The stains of Dushmanta's kisses are still there as colours.
Jarasandha's skeleton calls aloud in Korea :
Kettles of vultures encircle the sky of Asia.
We survive at the frontiers of the age,
As skeletons of ancient mariners.

Kalidas, of which city of god are you a fugitive-poet?
So frantic after beholding the clouds?
Our lifetime homage at your altar of poetry
Fallen coral blooms,
Needed not before preceptors, nor before the gods
That lie filling the ground after fall.

Translated by Krishna Dulal Barua

Hem Barua (b.1915-d.1977) was a noted Assamese poet and politician.

Krishna Dulal Barua is a prominent translator and writer based in Nagaon, Assam. He received the Katha Award for translation in 2005.

Click here for the original Assamese poem.

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