Poems : Salma

24 Nov

(Translated from the Tamil by Lakshmi Holmström)

The evening breeze
blows towards the bride
as she takes her leave
on her wedding day.

Her elder sister
pushes her face inside
the purdah, and instructs her
on making love, surrounded
sweetly, by the scent of flowers.

She has riffled in haste
through pages of heavy books
she herself had not known before,
in order to tell her little sister
which days are best for sex,
when she would, most likely, conceive,
what things are haraam,
she tells her about prescribed
post-coital ablutions.

Before her small eyes
suiting her short frame
images intervene:
the affliction of her own life
and the empty routine
of tired, worn out sex.
These she hides within herself.

From time to time
the younger girl, disturbed
by the shameful, falling words,
tries to muzzle them
with her own foolish

That entire night
the new bride
disentangles her sister’s advice
caught in her dangling ear-drops,
and lays them out carefully
upon the marriage bed.

Source: http://poetry.sangamhouse.org/2013/09/new-bride-new-night-by-salma/

(Translated from the Tamil by Lakshmi Holmström)

In the midst of a thicket
beside a pond that has fed on the morning
and spreads out in beauty
I search for the pathway that I have lost.

Just as the darkness of the dense trees
threatens to snatch me up and swallow me
a compassionate angel appears
to close up my dark hole of fear
and to retrieve three pledges
even from the depths of the mysterious pond:

to light up the path I lost
to re-thread a shattered dream from my youth
to imagine an entirely new dream.
And while I find again my path,
straighten an old dream that was askew,
relish a new dream once more,
through tongues of fire that flame my eyes
I see the angel treading the earth
her clothes steeped in green.

Source: http://poetry.sangamhouse.org/2013/09/green-angel-by-salma/

I like the poems bravery and intensity borne from truth.Hope you like Salma’s poems too. The translations by Lakshmi Holmström are excellent.

Hope you have a good day dear friends!

Love, Suresh



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