The Young Man’s Bath

At Artful Dodge, we value the power of world literature and modern writing. From issue 46/47, we bring you one of the many poems translated from the Bengali female poets by Carolyne Wright. Accompanying image, found here, selected by editorial assistant Ananya Shrestha.

The Young Man’s Bath by Debarati Mitra (translated from the Bengali by Carolyne Wright with Paramita Bannerjee)

Clattering down the dilapidated steps

the boy has gone to take his bath.

Some instrument plays in the highland passageway,

from the uterine interior of the trees

colored sparks of fire fly up, showering

into the fountain.

“Bathing Man” by Edvard Munch ©Nasjonalmuseet / Munch-museet / Munch-Ellingsen-gruppen / BONO 2010. Foto: Jacques Lathion / Nasjonalmuseet

He rolls down shivering in the current

suddenly released,

a bow’s luminous taut string.

Enchanted youthful water comes flying

and shatters him,

carries him off in fragments

like the white stones’ natural handiwork.

One of the sleeping thighs

pulls the distant mountain’s birthplace

into the stunned womb.

Sloth and the memory of that sun mingle

with the clouds of deep forests covered with leaves.


About artfuldodgewooster

Ohio based literary magazine, now over twenty years old, still in print, and gradually spreading across the digital world. Official Website:
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