“GREYBIRD “- a poem in Tamil by Revathy translated by N.Kalyanraman

The tree’s shadow

Sat still beneath its canopy

Like a Greybird

As if she wished to snatch and carry away even

The protracted silence of the street,

A girl came down sweeping

It was here that He’d asked me to wait,

Had asked my love too

The sweeper-girl

Went away long ago, taking

The silence with her, while she kept

Turning back to stare at me

Darkness has now begun to stream down

Like tears.

Enchanted and fearful,

Like a body ready at last to arrive

At its own flowering, I wait

Here . . . he walks in from afar,

Like a laden cloud about to unburden

Itself of rain At this unbearable joy,

Red stars have begun to spring in my body

The tree, though, Is still; not perturbed in the least—

Like a Greybird

The tree’s shadow sat still beneathe its own canopy like a grey bird .It is as though the wind in the tree is playing with its shadows which are the autumn leaves of yesterday’s thoughts. The tree cannot even do this because the girl came in to sweep away the dry leaves No longer is silence of the streets.It was here he came like a laden cloud about to unburden its rain .Darkness came down in streams . The tree remained like the greybird.

The poet uses exquisite imagery reminiscent of the romantic poetry.Images like “the grey bird “, “red stars spring in the body” “like a laden cloud unburdening itself of rain” are skilfully crafted usages which would surely be even more pretty in the original Tamil version.

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