Mamta Sagar, India

18º Medellin International Poetry Festival
Photo by Nidia Naranjo

Por: Mamta Sagar
Traductor: Chitra Panikkar / Mamta Sagar

Latinoamerican Poetry Magazine
No 81-82. July 2008.


Inside the river are the sky, the cloud, and the sun.
In my hands´ bowl is the river.

If I throw up my hands,
the river spills in drops, scattering
sky, cloud, and sun all o´er me.

From my hands´ bowl, if I drink
the river, then within me, the sun, the cloud, and the sky.

Tell me, who is in who?



 I’m exactly like my mother 
– thin body, bony fingers,
dark circles below the eyes;
within, a heavy heart
loaded with cares; a mind
beset with thoughts it can’t
quite carry; and on the surface,
a smooth smile.

I’m like my mother exactly;
her tears flow in my eyes.



the song, 
when it fell 
the earth shuddered
flowed in red 
tomorrow’s history
(and the lines that remain out of it)
unsung songs 
quiver and quake
in soil and sludge
shattered dreams
buried wished
whacked bodies

the last rays
set the river ablaze.


* * *

Like this,
on the page
“the song”
like the tattooed design
is the song
from the page the word sounds,
sound the words one behind the other;
chain of words-sound

let float in the breeze... there the song!

on the page
the song is the words
silent is the song.



A Square –

the kitchen, the hall, the bed-room 
–a neat square.

The mattress, the cot, the bed-sheet 
–a perfect square.

The book, the table, the chair
…the thought-stream;
    everything is within
    this square-barrier.

The door, the roof, the wall,
white tiles laid on the floor,
        the fragment of sky
        the ventilator admits in 
        –have all corners four.

The roundness of the Earth stands suspect.

If the words jump out,
if they cross the page, if
they escape the meaning-barrier,
then, varying limits
for the soundless forms.

            Here, sense of space
            changes to its converse 
            –space spreads endlessly…

                        (so much of space
                                            lies within S  P  A  C  E)

MAMTA SAGAR 1966. Dr. Mamta G. Sagar, Kannada poet/playwright has three collections of poems, “Hiige Haaleya Maile Haadu” (Like this the song) 2007, “Kaada Navilina Hejje” (Footprints of The Wild Peacock) 1992 and “Nadiya Neerina Teva” (Dampness of the River) 1999 and four plays to her credit. “The Swing of Desire”, English translation of her Kannada play ‘Mayye Bhara Manave Bhara’, is included in the anthology, “Staging Resistance: Plays by Women in Translation”, 2004. “MahiLa Vishaya” (Women Subjects), A collection of Essays in Kannada and English on Gender, Language, Literature and Culture 2007 is her recent book. She represented India at the 9th Poetry Africa Festival held during October 2005 at Durban, South Africa. Mamta has been translating contemporary African and Francophonic poetry into Kannada language. Mamta has conducted theatre and poetry workshops culminating with readings and productions for women, children and people from marginalised communities. Her poems are translated into Indian languages such as Marathi, Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, Telugu and English apart from Spanish and French and have seen publication in various journals and poetry anthologies in those respective languages. / Her doctoral work is in Comparative Literature from University of Hyderabad. and the thesis is titled as “Gender, Patriarchy and Resistance: Contemporary Women’s Poetry in Kannada and Hindi (1980-2000)”. With a specialization in Comparative Literature, Gender Studies, Kannada Literature and Cultural Discourse, she has presented papers in important national and international seminars and conferences. With a specialization in Comparative Literature, Gender Studies, Kannada Literature and Cultural Discourse, Mamta Sagar teaches at the Centre for Kannada Studies, Bangalore University and lives in Bangalore, India. Mamta Sagar, a sensitive poet and play-wright  writer in Kannada, has effortlessly combined creativity with contemporary women’s issues. (…) She responds: “Poetry has been my first choice fro creative expression. Through my poems I explore language, formulated by men, to express and signify meanings in a highly marginalised world which has always alienated women…” // Mamta says she is proud to be writing  in her mother tongue though there are limitations for writing in any regional language in the present “wide” world order. She also unhesitatingly acknowledges the place of English as an Indian language fro creative expression.

Última actualización: 15/12/2021