Voices Within: Sanjukta Dasgupta

Sanjukta Dasgupta, Professor and Former Head, Dept of English and Former Dean, Faculty of Arts, Calcutta University, is a poet, critic and translator. She is a member of the General Council of Sahitya Akademi New Delhi and Convenor, English Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. She is the President of the Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library, Kolkata. She received the WEI Kamala Das Poetry Award in 2020. Dasgupta has 21 published books. Her published books of poetry are Snapshots (1997), Dilemma (2002), First Language (2005), More Light (2009), Lakshmi Unbound (2017) Sita’s Sisters (2019) Unbound: New and Selected Poems edited by Jaydeep Sarangi and Sanghita Sanyal) 2021

Like Leaves to Trees

When your fingers meet mine
Our dialogue so sweet and serene
Unspoken hush between words.

When your eyes look into mine
It is contact beyond words
 Voiceless communion.

Like leaves to trees in spring
Like falling leaves in autumn
 Like the bare branches of winter



Gasping for air
In the limitless air
No feather-touch of care
No air to resuscitate or share
 Just deadly snares and lairs
In the suffocating wasteland
Desperate for a whiff of air

All air trapped in the 
Balloons of bombast and lust
Wheezing, gasping, groaning for air
The last rattle, the last hurt stare
In the sterile necropolis all is unfair

He cried, “I can’t breathe “ 
Throttled, he cried for
A breath of pristine air
The shocked air around 
Spun wildly in utter despair
A helpless questionnaire
Hung in the toxic air 
The revolving planet in pitiful tears
Wept breathlessly for the
 Soothing dew of prayers
The healing touch of free air. 


Now it is about fading
Even the printed words
On my books of poems
Seem to gesture a tired greeting
The world shrinks and recedes
Moments jostle till all are blurred
In a heap of fragments
Some spiked, some in fragments
Others like a silhouette 
Of a past that can’t return
A present tense, fractured
Fits and starts, jolts and swings
Future is rapture and rupture
A hurdle race
Of hallucination
And trepidation

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