Nabakanta Barua

(26 December 1926 – 14 July 2002 / Guwahati / India)

The First Code Of Life - Poem by Nabakanta Barua

Offerings to the mother have been washed
with brother’s bolld;
To satisfy the mother earth
Offering’s flesh has been cooked in her breast’s milk!
Please, no more
Distribute those horrible offerings!

I am a poet, my shelter made of only words
Words only form my bridge
Through the incisive bridgr of words I have crossed
The dark caves of disbelief
What is the use of calling the word as The Brahma
Thinking of it as The Gode Incarnate
When men wants to protect its dignity
With men’s blood?

I don’t believe in any electrifying power of words
Which originates from
Falls running on brother’s blood

Only a few accused, condemned words -
(so easily can one juggle with words!)
From which erupts deadly hatred,
Suicidal, fatricidal smoke; and
From which originates rivers of blood
Of the confused poor!

Ye my people, the incarnations of the Great Ashoka,
With your tears of repentance
Have your hands washed of
The stains of your brother’s blood.
Purify yourselves, Not with the spoilt incarnations
But with the stable unity of
Thought, Love and Sweat.
Ye Ashoka the Terrible, transform yourself
To Ashoka the Just.

[ Translated by Rituraj Kalita ]


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Poem Submitted: Friday, June 15, 2012



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