(1440 - 1518 / Pratapgar, Uttar Pradesh, India)

How Do You - Poem by Kabir

How do you,
Asks the chief of police,
Patrol a city
Where the butcher shops
Are guarded by vultures;
Where bulls get pregnant,
Cows are barren,
And calves give milk
Three times a day;
Where mice are boatmen
And tomcats the boats
They row;
Where frogs keep snakes
As watchdogs,
And jackals
Go after lions?

Does anyone know
What I’m talking about?
Says Kabir.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Translated from the Hindi by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, May 2, 2012

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