Morning in Chilka

Buddhadeva Bose

Translated from Bengali by

Ketaki Kushari Dyson


Ah, how very happy I have felt this morning –

                                    how can I say it!


How spotlessly blue is this sky, how unbearably beautiful,

like a master singer’s raga variations spreading unrestrained

                                    from horizon to horizon!


Ah, how good I’ve felt gazing at this sky –

green hills curving all around, hazy in the mist,

                                    Chilka glinting in the middle.


You came over, sat by me awhile, then strolled to the other side

to see the train that had come and stopped at the station.

The train left. – How much I love you –

                                    how can I say it!


The sun floods the sky, dazzles the eyes.

The cows graze with total attention – how tranquil!

– Had you ever thought – coming here, beside this lake we would find

                                    what we hadn’t found so long?


The silvery water lies dreaming, while all the sky

streams on its bosom in a flow of blue

with the sun’s kisses. – That here a gorgeous rainbow would blaze

circling the ocean of your blood and mine –

                                    had you ever imagined it?


Yesterday sailing on the Chilka we had seen

two butterflies coming along – flying over the water

for such a long distance. – How bold!  You’d laughed,

                                    and how I had loved


that wonderful, radiant happiness of yours!  See, see

how blue this sky is. – And in your eyes tremble

so many skies, deaths, new births –

                                    how can I say it!




(from The Selected Poems of Buddhadeva Bose, Translated and Introduced
by Ketaki Kushari Dyson, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2003.)