Vasant Abaji Dahake

(30 March 1942 - / Amaravati, Maharashtra / India)

Superman In A Jar - Poem by Vasant Abaji Dahake

In the see-through jar of this century,
you see preserved
a Larger-than-Life Figure.
A row of jars, a Great One in each.
The character of each as pure, as unsullied
as a virgin's gaze,
the lines on the upraised hands of each
tracing a harmonious road-map to peace.
All you who sorrow, all you who suffer,
come bathe yourselves in the vision of these supermen.

Please maintain silence.
Please do not spit.

A boundless crowd gathers
for a glimpse of the Great Ones in their jars,
the kind of crowd that goes to watch parrots
in their cages, or stares at bedraggled circus bears,
those same heavy, cold, silent people,
those restless, anxious, violent people
chew, with their wide-open eyes,
yet another superman.

I'm one of those supermen in their jars.

Around me, these airtight, see-through ramparts,
Impregnable walls.
I suffocate,
I thrash about,
gnawing away at myself,
turning, restless, in this glass jar.

The dumb curator of this museum
has just vanished.

[Translated by Ranjit Hoskote]

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 14, 2012

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