Nabanita Sengupta: Poetry (Voices Within 2021)

Nabanita Sengupta is an Assistant Professor of English by profession and creative writer by passion. Translation remains one of her chief areas of work and interest. Her works can be read in journals and e-zines such as SETU, Muse India, Coldnoon, Café Dissensus, NewsMinute.in, News18.com, Kitaab.org, Different Truths, among others. She has also been published in various poetry anthologies and anthologies of translation. 


To the Poet

There will be time again
to sing of gulmohars and neem
and the bright periwinkle
winking from the cracked roof
of a house in ruin

There will be time again
to sing that mushy song
of how you had once touched
and each touch a fire
that cruised through my veins

There will be time too
to write peans to a god
who refuses to descend
to the murk of this world
happy in heaven.

Now is not that time.
Now's the time for brand new verse

Sing if you must, of a dying child
of all the tongues tied
Chant if you must, the healing verses
to a race that's dead
write if you must, with your body
the woman that you are
And
For once
Let poetry breath 
***


Eve's Choice

Choices come with riders
as it did for Eve 
with the apple that she chose
in conscious defiance
of a power unseen.

Paradise lost forever
in gained wisdom, 
Knowledge brings woes
and fear of comfort bygone
The archetypal mother
Carries that cross of blame
saviour's crown upon the Son
while she lives in sin. 

The apple speaks
of the first quest
the first defiance
the first ostracism

and a bold step
seeking individuality,
an identity self made
not handed down names,
dressed in pamperings -
a pseudonym of dependence

The forbidden fruit
earned a wrath
yet also a home -
a world to make her own.
***


Archived

We are 
reminiscent yesterdays
upon an embroidered chiffon
that sits coy in a wardrobe corner

A heady smell from past 
like an oversized overcoat
wraps the conversations
In the warmth of a wintry tea

through words freshly packed
we dish out old staples
That belonged once to 
to the zone of reality

Yet now, in exile 
Separated by time, 
we speak a language
of deja vous
and count the growing age
of memories, waiting
till the gates open once more

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