• the thought fox

3 poems: The Wall, The Buried Poem, Parrots in the tree - Ismail

I’m not even apologetic about bombarding you with telugu poetry in English again today because I’ve been tripping on Ismail’s poetry for weeks now. Also, I’m in Hyderabad, and even though my efforts to find good translations in telugu have not borne fruit, I am able to discuss context and biography with friends here. So expect more!

It was a tough choice to choose only one poem, so I chose three and my favourite isn’t even in this collection I’m sharing with you today. Ismail’s writing seems distinctive from other contemporaries - he was known as “Sadaa Baalakudu” - Eternal child (of poetry).

I like poems that slowly and lovingly spreads their arms around me. I feel the warmth building up in my breast as the words plant loving fingers and the wetness of the night on my neck. Just as the image fills up my heart with the suddeness of dusk turning into the solitude of a sickle moon, the end of the poem opens up the vision of another night, another city, another world.

All three of the poems I have shared with you today have that effect. They stand before you - coy, innocent smiles littering their plain faces. They turn around and begin to walk towards the edge of the frame in an unmoving long shot, their trails beckoning you to follow. Before their silhouette leaves the landscape, as they reach the edge, you learn the absence they have left behind.

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