Three Bengali Women Poets of Kolkata

Read this beautiful piece by Debarati Mehta, translated from the Bengali by Carolyne Wright, as it appeared in Artful Dodge 46/47:

The Absolute Artist

From the lotus pond’s edge, the calming lake,

he brought clay.

Straining drop by drop the Subarnarekha’s stream

he fashioned that festival’s idol.

On the fast-flowing Ganga’s bank,

alone, he dug into the breast of the earth

toward the primitive red-hued god

whose distant myths are heard in the blood,

Fleeing deliberately, in silence,

from the think of things,

infatuated with hell’s bitterest enchantments,

he immersed himself

and brought up thick muddy silt.

Or else he looked on astonished as

the casts of hot soft wax were hardening

and his mother’s flawless lover’s face

came into form in his hands.

Sweating from head to foot,

did he sort out metals the color of stone

and bring them up from the blind quarry

to make puppets with excessive care?

After two million years, meteors shower

unearthly fire of stone onto the roof —–

like the artist’s greatest masterpiece

there’s no space for any more creation in his work.

The artist owes no explanations;

why should he?

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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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