JASHUVA’S POEMS

FREE VERSE TRANSLATIONS FROM TELUGU OF

POET JASHUVA (1895-1971)

 

Dr C. NARASIMHA SASTRI

 

            [A poet par excellence, Jashuva made his mark in Firdausi, a poem based on the life of a Persian poet. His poem Gabbilamu described the plight of the downtrodden. The hero, requests a bat which strays into his hut to carry his message to the Lord, giving a panoramic view of India as Kalidasa does in his “Cloud- Messenger,” His Mumtajmahal is a monument glorifying immortal love. He excels himself in short lyrics on a wide range of themes. His poetry is marked by sincerity, clarity and sweetness. At his best, Jashuva is unrivalled in handling universal themes in a poignant and memorable manner. Though endowed with rich gifts of imagination and expression, he had to fight his way to claim a place among the leading poets of this century.]

 

            You conceal the mighty banyan in the tiny

                        seed, a juggler rare!

            You enter the buds before they blossom to

                        paint the bewitching tints;

            You breathe life into the sleeping babe

                        in the mother’s womb;

            You reveal your glory to the devoted

                        yet conceal your address;

            You, who fashioned this lovely globe,

                        gave it away for our delight;

            You, who gave me birth, beloved

                        father!

            Though Lord of all,

                        you have nowhere a roof!

 –Firdausi

 

            In the rosy rays of the rising sun,

                        fresh from a bath in the tossing waves,

            In the splendid smile of the full moon at

                        the zenith of glory,

            In the frolicking breeze whispering

                        among the gardens in flower,

            In the flashes of lightning fleeting along

                        blue alleys and vanishing,

            O Lord of the Universe! I behold

                        you reclining in repose and

                        smiling at the mighty worlds.

            I shall rip open my heart

                        and lay its treasures before you.

                        Please come, do come.

                        Say not you are busy.

                        Come, come and accept!

–Firdausi

 

EXHORTATION

 

            The lamps that flicker in the mansion

                        vast and blue

                        Are burning with lustre unending;

            The ocean that rocks and rages night and days

                        roars on furious forever;

            The East that bears the infant Sun

                        goes on conceiving, mother perennial;

            The Spring, Lord of seasons, endows

                        the Earth with jewels fresh

                        Is never weary of the play of love;

            No, not a streak of red is visible in

                        the gracious eyes of the Maker;

            O, foolish world! the best is yet to be.

                        The light is burning bright.

                        Set your heart aright

                        pure as a lily white.

Khandakaavyamulu, Volume Two

 

            The benevolence of the trees beckoning

                        with leafy arms offering gentle shade,

            The strange kinship of flowers spreading

                        honeyed banquets to the humming bees,

            The soothing touch of the breeze caressing

                        the sweating toiler,

            The holy shower blessing the eager

                        shell with a pearly babe,

            Lord! you have lavished all these charities

                        among the lesser kind

            And denied the precious gift to mankind

            You have put us to shame, O Lord!

                        what is the worth of knowledge unbounded

                        when it is from charity divorced?

 

Kotta lokam (Brave New World)

 

            I taste thy nectarine drops of love

                        in the fragrant bosoms of all blossoms

            I behold the dazzling splendour

                        of your form in the

                        tranquil waves of light at dawn

            I hear your mighty voice

                        in the rumbling of reverberating thunders

            I thrill with the rippling streams of love

                        gazing at the sleepless eyes of the twinkling stars.

 

Kotta lokam (Brave New World)

 

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