Translator Remitha Satheesh has translated an excerpt from Malayalam lyricist and poet ONV Karup’s poem “Bhoomikkoru Charamageetham” (A Requiem To Earth).
Until the last moonbeam of sentience lights my awareness,
Nothing save memories of you will linger in me
– in me whom you breathed into being
in me who imbibed life from you –
As bitter vayambu and sweet honey, you infused my sensibilities
Stirring the first tastes of pleasure in me.
You are the drop of sacred water, dissolving as my final joy
When my wick burns down.
My soul marvels at the little sun I see
In a drop of dew on the forehead of a blade of grass;
In the shady glens on your slopes,
My Kamadhenu grazes every day;
And upon your oceans, the winds roam
Like some prophet of bygone days.
You rock a thousand infant fruits in your cradle,
Watching over them, lullaby on your lips;
You hang swings in a thousand sacred groves,
You sway on the tip of a banyan leaf,
And you wave your five petalled arms.
You are the coo of the temple doves,
You are the waves on a thousand streams,
You are the rhythm of my soul’s joy,
You are the poovaaka, ilanji, and konna,
Waving parasols in bright colors.
As the owl’s hoot, you kindle my fears,
And as the koel’s song, you calm those very fears.
You save a hundred hues in your chest,
To color the inner recesses of my soul;
You burnish my evenings into molten gold,
And make away with the dusk into the woods;
Only to return, bearing a new dawn in your arms,
To awaken me, to nourish me with your amrita.
In the heart of a mystic fruit grove you hatch
A bird’s egg into poetry.
You are the graciousness that sustains
This life, as fragile as a drop of water.
I perceive you, you fill me to the brim;
The elixir of my life is but memories of you.
Oh, graceful swan whose wings soar with music,
On the tip of a feather in your exquisite wing,
If, for a moment, if only for a moment,
This sweet truth that is my life, could blaze forth!
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