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Three Score Assamese Poems

Three Score Assamese Poems
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Item Code: NAI267
Author: D.N. Bezboruah
Publisher: National Book Trust
Language: English
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 9788123757001
Pages: 76
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
weight of the book: 120 gms
About the book

Even though Assamese Poetry has left an indelible imprint on the Indian literary landscape, yet much of it is largely unknown to a wider readership. This volume in attempting to fill this literary void, brings together some of the finest poets of the second half of the twentieth century, beginning with Navakanta Barua who gave a new language and a new idiom to Assamese poetry. Finely, selected and ably translated, many of them for the first time in English translation, the volume also includes Ajit Barua, Hiren Bhattacharya, Nilmoni Phukan, Nirmalprabha Bordoloi, Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya, Keshav Mahanta, Hem Barua, Homen Borgohain, Dilip Barua, Hari Barkakti, Hirendra Nath Dutta, Bhaben Barua, Harekrishna Deka, Bireswar Barua, Tarun Barua, Anis-ul-Zaman and Niren Barua.

 

About the Author

Dhirendra Nath Bezboruah taught English and Linguistics for over two decaded. The founder editor of the Sentinel, English daily published from Guwahati, Bezboruah has been translating Assamese poetry and fiction extensively since the 1970s. His works include the English translation of Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya’s novel Mrityunjay which won the Jnanpith Award in 1982. He was also the president of the Editors Guild of India from 1995 to 1997.

 

Preface

This is a slim anthology of my English translation of Assamese poetry written in the second half of the twentieth century. I do not presume to make any claims that the anthology is a representative collection of Assamese Poetry written in those fifty years. In fact, considering the size of the anthology, it is inevitable that some poets have got left out. It is a collection of Assamese poetry that I liked and poetry that could be translated without very much being lost in the process of translation. The focus is thus more on poetry than on the poets.

The anthology begins with poems of Navakanta Barua because he gave his contemporaries as well as younger poets a new language and a new idiom. He has thus left us a great legacy of not only an enriched Assamese language but also of many excellent poets.

I have dispensed with a long preface because I feel that readers should be left alone to read and enjoy poetry on their own instead of being told in advance about trends, influences and so on that may have worked on the poets. I have translated all the poems except one (“The Silt” by Navakanta Barua). As a translator, my major concern has been whether I have succeeded in rendering all these beautiful poems competently enough in another language and with total fidelity to the original poems.

I owe a debt of gratitude to the National Book Trust, India, for having agreed to publish this small anthology of translated Assamese poetry in an age when readers of poetry have dwindled in number and publishers of Poetry have become even more scarce. I am also indebted to Shri Pradip Achraya and Shri Pankaj Thakur for a lot of help.

 

Contents

 

Preface ix
Navakanta Barua  
The Silt 1
Measurements 2
The Eternal Pulse 3
Judas 5
Bats 6
Self-invited 8
The lift 9
Ajit Barua  
A Jaccaranda Tree 10
Some Bronze Ferns 11
A Pair of Copper Arghas 12
Mind-misting Time 12
Wearing a Silk Robe Again Today 13
Hiren Bhattacharyya  
These my words (for the younger poet) 15
For poetry a Single Prayer 16
Four Peoms 16
Partaking 17
Postscript 18
Sound of the Flute 18
Nilmoni Phukan  
Was it a Friday or a Sunday 19
She Pursued me Even in my Sleep 20
Only the sound of Stillness 20
Suddenly Lost 21
Where have they Gone? 22
Two Poems 23
Nirmaprabha Bordoloi  
Dawning 27
Ashes 27
Poignant 28
Unvanquished 28
Existence 29
Songs of Darkness 29
Early Dawn Hours 30
The one who is to Arrive 31
Birendra Kumar Bhattacharyya  
A palace in Bukhara 33
Samarkhand 33
Keshab Mahanta  
My Fate 34
Hem Borgohain  
A Discovery 35
Homen Borgohain  
Memory 37
Dilip Barua  
Procession of Death 39
Hari Barkakati  
After the Immersion of the Goddess 41
On the Death of a Confidante 42
On the Death of a Leader 43
Question 43
Hirendra Nath Dutta  
The Berlin Wall 45
Bhaben Barua  
Memory of a Shipwreck 47
Words 48
The Weight of Lead 49
Hands in the Darkness 49
Harekrishna Deka  
Winds 51
Posterity 52
Moonlight 53
The Soldier's Death 54
Bireswar Barua  
Lily's Afternoon 55
Diary 56
Tarun Barua  
A stream of the Ganga Flowed 57
A Moment of Courage 58
Anis-uz-Zaman  
Limits 59
Time 60
Fragrance 60
Niren Barua  
My Existence 61
Note on the poets 63

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