I am a grain of sand
and you, the endless sea.
Let me multiply and be the earth
to contain all of you?
Lovers can define love. What happens when a poet turns lover? He interprets it as a fever that “subsides after a week of nightmares.” The poet describes fondness, if it fits as a perfect synonym of ‘love,’ as smallpox. The lover bears “scarred memories” until death. He marks love as cancer that takes time to get diagnosed. The poet finds it insane as lovers “murmur, sing, laugh, quarrel, / and roam around, all, alone.” Love, as he expounds, becomes “sweetest” when ubiquitous, and thus, he emerges as Radha. The merger was on the cards, perhaps! Had this not been true, Satchidanandan won’t have corroborated love with the maladies. He became one with Radha and named it “unrealized!” Who else can portray love, if not a poet, in the light of the gopi who never admitted her attainment? A sense of submission prevails in this collection.
K. Satchidanandan is a leading Indian poet He is also perhaps the most translated of contemporary Indian poets, having 32 collections of translation in 19 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, English, Irish, French, German and Italian, besides all the major Indian languages. He has 24 collections of poetry, four books of travel, a full length play and a collection of one-act plays, two books for children and several collections of critical essays, including five books in English on Indian literature besides several collections of world poetry in translation. He has been a Professor of English, and also the chief executive of the Sahitya Akademi, the Director of the School of Translation Studies, Indira Gandhi Open University, Delhi and National Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. He is a Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi and has won 52 literary awards from different states and countries, including the Sahitya Akademi award, India-Poland Friendship Medal from the Government of Poland, Knighthood from the Government of Italy and World Prize for Poetry for Peace from the Government of the UAE. His recent collections in English include While I Write, Misplaced Objects and Other Poems, The Missing Rib: Collected Poems, Not Only the Oceans, Questions from the Dead and The Whispering Tree: Poems of Love and Longing.