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Sujata Bhatt (India, 1956)

Sujata Bhatt (India, 1956)

The voices

First, a sound from an animal
you can never imagine.

Then: insect-rustle, fish-hush.

And then the voices became louder.

Voice of an angel who is newly dead.
Voice of a child who refuses
to ever become an angel with wings.

Voice of tamarinds.
Voice of the colour blue.
Voice of the colour green.
Voice of the worms.
Voice of the white roses.
Voice of the leaves torn by goats.
Voice of snake-spit.
Voice of the placenta.
Voice of the fetal heartbeat.
Voice of the scalped skull
whose hair hangs behind glass
in a museum.

I used to think there was
only one voice.
I used to wait
patiently for that one voice to return
to begin its dictation.

I was wrong.

I can never finish counting them now.
I can never finish
writing all they have to say.

Voice of the ghost who wants
to die again, but this time
in a brighter room with fragrant flowers
and different relatives.
Voice of the frozen lake.
Voice of the fog.
Voice of the air while it snows.
Voice of the girl
who still sees unicorns
and speaks to angels she knows by name.
Voice of pine tree sap.

And then the voices became louder.

Sometimes I hear them
laughing at my confusion.

And each voice insists
and each voices knows
that it is the true one.

And each voice says: follow me
follow me and I will take you
-

Tranlated by Sujata Bhatt

Sujata Bhatt was born in Ahmadabad, India, on May 6, 1956. A Poet and Translator, she received her Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Writer's Workshop of the University of Iowa. She has received a number of international prizes and recognitions, among them the Commonwealth Poetry Prize. She has published six volumes of poetry in the United Kingdom, and her work, which has been translated into over twenty languages, is included in a number of poetic anthologies and has been broadcast on London's BBC radio and television stations. She has been a visiting writer at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada, and also at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, United States. In February, 2004, UNESCO published her poem Search for My Tongue as part of the celebrations of the International Day of the Mother Tongue. Other works: Brunizem, 1988, Commonwealth Poetry Prize; Monkey Shadows, 1991; The Stinking Rose, 1995; Nothing is black, really nothing, Augatora, 2000; and A Colour for Solitude, 2002.
Última actualización: 28/06/2018