Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Tom Cat's Song

I have been busy with a variety of things, so here's a stop-gap blog post with a translation of a Bengali poem by Sukumar Ray.

The Tom Cat's Song
~Sukumar Ray

Queer quiet night, deserted streets
Trees draped in black velvet sheets.
Under the banyan's tangled web dark
Fireflies light their flint-steel spark
The bushes all around are silent too
Let's sing, brother Tom, me and you.

Into your ear, my song let me yell,
Which songs are liked, allow me to tell-
At midnight, staining the eastern sky red,
A night-blind moon raises half-broken head.
Reminding me, near that pot there lay
A half-eaten cake since yesterday.

I run there at once, from afar I see,
One-eared Kitty on a lip-smacking spree.
With cake her chubby cheeks are stuffed,
My heartful of hope went up in a puff.
"Why live anymore?" my mind asks me
A conjurer's tricks, wherever I see.

Everything is ugly, empty to the root
The wife's face is but chimney soot.
Let's fill this heartbreaking grief in our throat
And sing Brother Tom, a heart-rending note.

(Translation by Sugata Banerji)