On Love, Barriers and Things Other

Sunil Sharma
We are born of love; Love is our mother. 
– Rumi


This month, the focus is on love and the barriers faced by love in societies ruled by dogma, orthodoxy and masculine patriarchy. The title of the special edition is both relevant and summative of the general unease in certain contexts of an emotion that strikes both fear and longing in hearts and often causes divides, artificial, racial, religious, familial: “Colours of Love and Barriers”. Guest-edited by the renowned poet and activist Candice Louisa Daquin, this section brings together a rainbow of colours called love and how it overcomes barriers through poetry. Some top-form poets explore the challenges to this most subtle and enduring form of strong emotion in words that ring honest, true and progressive, especially in view of increasing tolerance towards certain types of love and romance, its formal expression and alliances in marriages.

In the prophetic words of Candice, "The colors of love and resultant barriers, do not go hand in hand. They are separate and I hope one day, there will be no barriers to love – and all colors, all creeds, can love without hate."

As the Bard says so famously about love and it sums up human story so well:

Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken.

So, more power to love!
Down with the barriers, the social construct.
Let love triumph!

Other highlights include another translated story by the writer and editor-in-chief Anurag Sharma, an excerpt of an essay by the famous poet Scott Thomas Outlar; a photo feature by the noted artist Jerome Berglund, trilingual poetry by the medical professional-poet Rameshwer Singh and new and exciting poems by the celebrated artist-editor Rob Harle.

A video recording of Rameshwer Singh's poetry, and, a podcast done by Jerome Berglund on the short fiction of Sunil Sharma are an additional bonus in making the bilingual journal as engaging and multimedia as possible.

Noted author-editor-translator Atreya Sarma Uppaluri returns with a clutch of translated stories and poems, from Telugu to English, in the special feature, part two: It is an excellent introduction to some happening writings in this important Indian language through English translation most competently done by a thorough professional.

In fact, translation becomes an art with the multilingual Atreya and more such projects need to be launched for a better acquaintance with the Literatures written in the Indian languages by writers that can rival the best of the other international languages.

We welcome translators with some fine translations for our upcoming editions.

Here, worth quoting the classic task of a translator as understood and defined by the philosopher Walter Benjamin and a popular benchmark for the guys working hard on languages and linguistic interactions as a kind of a rich dialogue, and, not a sterile and literal rendering of creativity from source language into the target language: 

It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language that is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work.

Book review, poetry, fiction and interview complete the general section.

Also: Cultural Roundup of important Pittsburgh-based cultural activities by new staff member John Maurer.

Our thanks to the guest editor and all the talents featured in this issue.

Please enjoy!

Sunil Sharma
Editor, Setu (English)
Toronto, Canada

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