poetry in action features work by poets from around the world, translated into English.
It has three rallying cries:
Poets of the world, unite and take over!
Resist the oppressive constraints of good, publishable poetry established by mainstream literary venues!
Only poetry in translation, all the time!
Coming at you every 10th and 20th of each month.
And now we buffeted
by such a time
whose short, sharp kick
will soon be felt by poets of all languages.
the only satisfaction that will remain
will be to see who, in this brutish
conflagration spread across the world
can snare their own language
in a poetic net.
The Poet’s Demise
These days, poems can smell the whiff
of language’s demise
but they never sense harbingers
of their own imminent annihilation.
It may be that some find their life’s fulfilment
making poetry in death
but I have never heard of anyone dying
while writing or reading poetry.
O, God of Verse,
grant me a bullet in the head
while writing poetry,
or, should I be the only one to die
let an exploding bomb carry me away.
Who else could be as fortunate as I-
dying in the act of reading poetry?
Let the darkness and light before me
wink out without a fuss
even as I turn a page.
Udaasi ki tarah
In short, our condition is one of distance and
of distances left over.
When you trace your fingers
along my spine
you trace in their meaning too.
There is a fresh pulse
that dopplershifts between the righteous and the unprincipled
like a regular outburst
that, all of a sudden, resonates
from my bones.
In truth, you remain largely preoccupied,
managing somehow, as much as can be managed,
my affairs and your own
the droplet makes its way back to the tearduct
un-precipitated, while you
like sadness, on the near side
awkwardly into your own hideaway
and in the next moment, I,
incapacitated like a cripple, only wait for you
wait for you
on the far side of sadness.
Hemant Divate is a Marathi poet, editor, publisher and translator. Poetrywala has recently published his Struggles with Imagined Gods and Other Poems (new translations). He has a book each in Spanish, Irish, Arabic, German and Estonian apart from four in English. Divate changed the Marathi literary scene with his small-press magazine AbhidhaNantar and the Indian English poetry scene through his press Poetrywala (www.paperwall.in). Divate has been awarded many prestigious prizes and has participated in poetry festivals around the world.
Mustansir Dalvi is an Anglophone poet, translator and editor, with three books of poems in English, Brouhahas of Cocks, Cosmopolitician and Walk. His poems have been translated into French, Croatian, and Marathi. Dalvi’s English translation of Muhammad Iqbal’s Shikwa and Jawaab-e-Shikwa from the Urdu as Taking Issue and Allah’s Answer has been described as “insolent and heretical.” He is the editor of Man without a Navel, a collection of translations of Hemant Divate’s poems from the Marathi.