Poetry: Whatever picture you sketch...

Sailaja Mithra

Poem in translation from Telugu1

Telugu original by: Sailaja Mithra | Trans. by: Atreya Sarma U

Whatever picture you sketch, it’s laced with the trace of man.

Whatever syllable you scribble, it’s pregnant with a poetic element.

It’s only from a fast streaming life that emotions surge out.

It’s only from the chiselled lines of experience

That the portrait of sentiment hangs.

Without warmth inside us how can the body exist?

It’s only from the struggle to achieve personal aspirations

That a brand new sculpture comes to shape every day.

It’s only the onward march that dispels fear

And opens the doors of courage

That can stand up before you as poesy.

It’s only when we speak to others, can we know each other.

It’s only when we walk together, can we understand the essence of life.

It’s only when seconds are wasted away, can we realise the value of time.

It’s only when the past that interlinks the words

Melts with the future that sieves the skein of words,

Can profound poetry materialise before us.

It’s only when we yearn and strive for the nectar of tomorrow,

Can the harmony of yesterday, today and tomorrow turn out into the muse!

If greenery triggers creativity, social awareness filters poetry.

There is no day that the muse is not visible within us;

There is no moment when aesthetic sentiment doesn’t greet us.

Capturing a warm signal while on a journey is poet’s nature.

It’s not only mobility but even stability yields poetry.

Enquire of any poet who is walking alone, “Whither are you going?”

And you’ll be knowing that he is far beyond his environs;

Because in no direction he has found human illumination.

The company of a poet or living together with poetry

Gives you the benefit of having visited

A number of diverse tourist and pilgrim places.

If things like caste, colour, creed and race

Unite together and stand up strong and graceful;

Poesy can sail on its own, rejuvenating everyone.

As long as we have poetry welling up within us,

We can serve our distinctive roles well,

Whether we move out of our body or country!

Whether influenced or uninfluenced by any external stimulus,

Poetry with its reflective culture, swell of tears, and flames of fire

And with a redoubled vitality through generation and generation

Longs for a new society, and welcomes a new era!


1. Title of the Telugu original: ae bomma geesinaa 


Sailaja Mithra

Sailaja Mithra, settled down in Hyderabad, is a distinguished and multi-faceted litterateur with 10 collections of poetry, 2 collections of short stories, 3 novels, 1 collection of children stories, 8 books of translations into English, 621 book reviews and 23 social-philosophical articles spanning a literary journey of 25 years. She has received many coveted awards and felicitations from the Government and renowned literary organisations.

Email: sailajamithra@gmail.com

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