Monday, September 18, 2006

Prison poems

Kuffir has translated a few Telugu poems about prisons.

walls from the nizam's time, barbed wire, electrified to kill
the sentry ramparts, walls within walls, gates within gates
locks locked unlocked, between the guards
the captured greenery
the pigeons that can't fly
the sky imprisoned in the yard
the faint call to namaaz in the absent noon
the moist-eyed ground giving the wind a chill
it's here the seasons had been held since long

That's from Vara Vara Rao, whose poem titled Déjà vu   was posted or excerpted on many, many blogs (including mine) during the recent debate on quotas.


  1. gaddeswarup said...

    I used to wonder why many of those stirring poems of Srisri and others (by the way, many Telugu writers including Srisri, Arudra, Dasrathi had Tamil ancestors reaffirming Gramsci's statement about'no parhenogenesis'. I long for those days of multilingual states) brought very little social change. Perhaps as Auden says in his eulogy of Yeats "For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives"

  2. kuffir said...


    what sustains the naxal movement in your view? other things apart, at a subliminal level it's the poetry of sri sri.