Jayanta Mahapatra

(22 October 1928 - / Cuttack / India)

Freedom


At times, as I watch,
it seems as though my country's body
floats down somewhere on the river.

Left alone, I grow into
a half-disembodied bamboo,
its lower part sunk
into itself on the bank.

Here, old widows and dying men
cherish their freedom,
bowing time after time in obstinate prayers.

While children scream
with this desire for freedom
to transform the world
without even laying hands on it.

In my blindness, at times I fear
I'd wander back to either of them.
In order for me not to lose face,
it is necessary for me to be alone.

Not to meet the woman and her child
in that remote village in the hills
who never had even a little rice
for their one daily meal these fifty years.

And not to see the uncaught, bloodied light
of sunsets cling to the tall white columns
of Parliament House.

In the new temple man has built nearby,
the priest is the one who knows freedom,
while God hides in the dark like an alien.

And each day I keep looking for the light
shadows find excuses to keep.

Trying to find the only freedom I know,
the freedom of the body when it's alone.

The freedom of the silent shale, the moonless coal,
the beds of streams of the sleeping god.

I keep the ashes away,
try not to wear them on my forehead.

Submitted: Thursday, March 29, 2012

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Freedom by Jayanta Mahapatra )

Enter the verification code :

  • Veeraiyah Subbulakshmi (3/29/2012 6:17:00 AM)

    Sir, I have painfully read your poem for the truth of our nation, until the last two lines. You are advised not to mess up with our religion any more in the name of secularism. Enough of slaughtering our Gods. The only factor that unites India is, the holy religion, other than this crucial factor, nothing else unites India.. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Departing Memories, Midnights Voice
  2. one hundred and twenty two miles, days, .., Mandolyn ...
  3. July 31,2014, Erica Borges
  4. Where Did It Go To?, Brian Johnston
  5. The Unapologetic Apology To My Mother (A.., Maurice Harris
  6. she is fading and then the night swallow.., RIC S. BASTASA
  7. Everything is yours, RIC S. BASTASA
  8. The Leg Of A Lamb, Saiom Shriver
  9. A Task To Master, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  10. Find Me, Amanda Houston

Poem of the Day

poet Percy Bysshe Shelley

We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly!--yet soon
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Jessie Mackay

 
[Hata Bildir]