Bittersweet / Emily Dickinson (Translated Poems)

by Nakul Vāc
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You wouldn’t know
how sweet it was
back then
to imagine and
when I couldn’t
see or
be with her.
the unattainable privacy,
pressing my lips to her ear
I had once cooed the words
Sweetie pie,
upon which
pretending to un-hear
what she had just heard
She turned and
with a mocking smile asked
If I were nuts.
That sweet smile
I didn’t get to see anymore, since,
despite writing to her
much transpired that’s
too bitter to recall.
I have come far
from those days
when the hands of Fate
with casual indifference
gathered me up
and inserted me between
the iron wheels of
opposing rollers and
wrung me dry,
but still
each time I see
ants swarming
spilled sweets
I cannot
avoid that bitter taste
that swells
beneath my tongue
even now!
(Original : ‘Peykkarumbu’ by K. Mohanarangan)

Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)

Distance is
hundred years and
thousands of miles.
It is
this too.
But still
To you whom forever
my face can
not be known
my heart
trembles and
In that
space of thought that lacks
night and day.


As per her own confession
She had eyes that were
like sherry
in a glass that
the guest leaves
whose dammed up
secrets, not for publication,
His life spirit in a
foreign land’s
fading twilight.

She who is Emily Dickinson

Eternal ephemeral to and froing.
An indifferent nature coupled with
increasing hesitations,
but towards her an honest
The dark shadow of human loneliness,
Searing white heat of rejected relationships
these alone
is She
to me.


Some moments in some
Many eons in many,
Behind all
The feeling of
being with
the abiding shadow
of her poetry’s
Eternal Present.


Like that shard of glass
that nicks
our unaware feet
as we bathe beneath
a waterfall
fragmented word nicks and
the poem


Like breeze through bereaving houses
She had wandered
refusing to stay frozen
in the chill of cold dying moments and
at one particular point
had willfully observed
the ebbing of will.
“Accustomed to keeping the body in shadow and
the soul in sunshine”
She is one of those.


Defying nature’s laws
Emily Dickinsonism
possesses me and
is raring
to open its flood gates
to flush my tradesman bloodstream.


Her poetry
Like that of Andal’s
A treasure house before which
my poetry
mere dust stained
chump change in the cash register
despite which
A life long yeaning
for her
subtle vision
that bewildered

(From “Arthanaari Avan Ival”, Poems by N. Jeyabaskaran)