Two Poems by Ranu Borua Gogoi

Autobiography of a Tale

I have been writing poems
Spending money 

A poet does not have 
A desire to be rich

While talking to the stars
The other day the sky asked me
About tales as large as the sky

Have you ever heard
Of tales
Narrated by a poet
I often hear now-a-days
The thundering of the sky

The fireflies read each evening 
Tales of smiles and happiness 
In frightening forests

Mother said when we were young 
That the tales were live
In the moral maxims 
The tales are defined 

Some people enrich literature spending money 
They enrich the first lessons of life 
Fill in blank pages

History has recorded the freedom of tales

Contemporary literature 
And modern authors 
Draw from folk tales
When crisis strikes.

Clay Doll

It's easy
To give life to a clay doll
Mother did it when I was a child. 

These days are 
Gnawed by mice.

Easy things become difficult 
Infested by flies. 

Those who gave life to clay dolls
Have died and disappeared.

Days die out
And nights follow suit.

Rumour hangs in the air
That you cannot come out in the evening. 

Pieces of torn clothes 
That gave life to clay dolls
Have vanished 
And neither can you get 
Thread to buy in bundles. 

Mother's time cannot make a retreat 
To give life to clay dolls. 

It is the same old earth
But the sweet clay dolls 
Have lost lives for ever.

Translated by Ananda Bormudoi

Ranu Borua Gogoi is an Assamese poet based in Dulijan, Dibrugarh, Assam. She has two collections of poems to her credit.

Click here to read the original Assamese poems.

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