Ramakanta Rath

Rating: 4.33
Rating: 4.33

Ramakanta Rath Poems

Come, take half
of the remainder of my life,
but fill every moment
of the half that is mine

You are the fragrance of rocks,
the lamentation of each flower,
the unbearable heat of the moon,
the icy coolness of the blazing sun,

I offer this water to you,
my father, grandfather and great grandfather,
and to you, soldiers and generals
who fought for us and who fought against us

Sometimes I wish I should return,
throw this body to the ground before the judges
installed in all the marketplaces of my country,
and tell them, come, hang it

I had thought
I had forgotten you entirely.

I know there is blood on my hands.
I further know my hands will be stained
with much further blood.

Ramakanta Rath Biography

Ramakanta Rath (Oriya: ରମାକାନ୍ତ ରଥ) is one of the most renowned modernist poets in the Oriya literature. Heavily influenced by the poets such as T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, Rath experimented greatly with form and style. The quest for the mystical, the riddles of life and death, the inner solitude of individual selves, and subservience to material needs and carnal desires are among this philosopher-poet's favorite themes. His poetry betrays a sense of pessimism along with counter-aesthetics, and he steadfastly refuses to put on the garb of a preacher of goodness and absolute beauty. His poetry is full of melancholy and laments the inevitability of death and the resultant feeling of futility. The poetic expressions found in his creations carry a distinct sign of symbolic annotations to spiritual and metaphysical contents of life. Often transcending beyond ordinary human capabilities, the poet reaches the higher territories of sharp intellectualism. The contents have varied from a modernist interpretation of ancient Sanskrit literature protagonist Radha in the poem "Sri Radha" to the ever-present and enthralling death-consciousness espoused in "Saptama Ritu" (The Seventh Season). Rath was born in Cuttack, Orissa (India). He obtained his MA in English Literature from Ravenshaw College Orissa He joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1957, but continued his writing career. He retired as Chief Secretary Orissa after holding several important posts in the Central Government such as Secretary to the Government of India. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1977, Saraswathi Samman in 1992, Bishuva Samman in 1990 and India's 3rd highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan in 2006. He was the Vice President of the Sahitya Academy of India from 1993 to 1998 and the President of the Sahitya Akademi of India from 1998 to 2003, New Delhi. In February 2009 he was awarded a fellowship by the Central Sahitya Akademi, the fifth Oriya writer to be so honoured. A number of his poems have been translated into English and other Indian languages.)

The Best Poem Of Ramakanta Rath

Sriradha: Part - 19

Come, take half
of the remainder of my life,
but fill every moment
of the half that is mine
with your infatuation.
Was the bargain unfair?
Then leave me with a single moment
and take away the rest of my life,
but like the sky,
fill the whole space
above that moment.

No, not like the sky.
Come closer and become the cloud
over my past, present and future
so that, when I touched myself,
I would touch the monsoon of your body.
Your sighs would breathe
the gale spewed by the despair
of a distant ocean
and, when I smile
and touch myself,
the gale would cease.

My lifetime,
unconcerned with its nearing death,
would everyday renew its pilgrimage
to the early years of your youth.
You would exist as a mass of blue
carved by my command,
or as the blue total
of all my known, partly known
and unknown desires.
Since I always dress in blue,
you too must be blue.
How can you have any other colour when
it would break my heart
if you had in colour other than blue?

Was the bargain unfair?
Then come, take away
even that single moment.
But do not bend down, look straight
into my eyes.
Meet there the impudent traveller
who has passed through hell after hell
and, at the end of the very last hell,
stands under a kadamba tree
and awaits your coming.

[Translated by the poet]

Ramakanta Rath Comments

Madhab Chandra Jena 15 September 2019

He is one of the best poet of the world, My favorite and idol

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Bijay Kant Dubey 26 October 2018

Ramakanta Rath is a great mystical poet drawing from our classical tradition and folklore; a poet of the bhakti-rasa in a modern interpretation and employing a modern idiom of expression. He is not only devotional, but mystical and mythical too apart from his quest fro values in life.

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