Poems of Aduri Satyavathi Devi
My Great Desire
Telugu Original: Aduri Satyavathi Devi
English Translation: RS Sudarshanam
It isn’t a musical string for delicate play,
It isn’t a solid object to be left behind,
Maybe it is a note filled with anguish,
A vibrant ecstasy born of aesthetic delight,
It arises where the conscious meets the unconscious,
It is a mercurial vision,
It is a vision of transparency.
Sometimes with gentle and delicate touch,
Sometimes shocking like a whiplash of light,
It encircles me; it drives me round and round.
It sets fire to my dormant hunger for knowledge,
And flings me against sword like questions.
Then tremulously I creep like the worm
And know not where I go.
With my body half-crushed, I am driven
By a thirst for beauty and a host of desires.
It’s a dumb show, with neither sound nor emotion.
I sense that before it could assume flesh and blood,
It had been rejected age after age—
I was flung again and again far into the void,
Where, in my loneliness and untouchability,
When I’d struggle by myself to gain stability
Death came in waves and drenched me.
I got drowned countless times,
I cast away garments numberless,
But it’s the same touch, the same illusion
That overpowered me,
the me which is not the true me.
The fragment of a self-imprisoned in the body
Runs as a quest for beauty to the ends of the oceans,
To the edges of the valleys of gushing waters,
And to the very lights of the sky.
It drinks of the forest beauties,
It rests on the Lavanga creepers
It draws breath from the Rudraksha bushes
And it rises up with the sun’s rays.
That seed of energy, so evolving in stages
May finally shine as the love of universal man,
As the beacon of undying jewel-light,
So that man may be reborn as man and maharishi,
That is my great wish…my great desire!
Telugu Original : ‘Mahat Kaanksha’
Aduri Satyavathi Devi was born in Guntur in the year 1948 and settled in Visakhapatnam after marriage in 1969. She began her literary career as a lyricist at the age of 13. She wrote a variety of lyrics numbering about 300 — light, classical, devotional, patriotic, children’s and others. More than 50 songs of Satyavati Devi were broadcast over All India Radio. Eventually she made forays into various other literary genres like Poetry, Short story, Essay, Radio Play, Musical Feature, Books, Film reviews, Forewords etc..She created a substantial corpus of poetry with more than 180 poems included in 4 anthologies of poetry. She received accolades from readers, scholars, critics and litterateurs for her sensitive rendering of poems. She participated in many Poetry Meets, Festivals conducted by All India Radio, Doordarshan and the Sahitya Akademi. She was widely translated into English and Hindi. Some of the translations appeared in renowned journals like Indian Literature (English), and Samakaaleen Bharateeya Saahitya (Hindi).
She published her first volume of lyrics Vennello Venugaanam in 1988. Her first volume of poetry Rekkamudavani Raagam was published in 1992 followed by Jalapaata Geetam in 1997 and Veyirangula Velugu Raagam in 2006. Hindi translation of Rekkamudavani Raagam came out in 2008 as “Pankh an Modnevaalaa Raag” and a miscellany of various facets of her literary endeavour Vennela Paarijaataalu was published posthumously in Dec 2008. She received many prizes and awards for her literary pursuits and accomplishments like STVD Kalasamithi Award for Rekkamudavani Raagam in 1993, and Telugu University’s “Pratibha Puraskaram” as “Best Poet” in 1994, “Krishna Sastry Award” from Andhra Lalita Kala Samithi (Secunderabad) in 1998, UNESCO Literary Award in 2000, and “Ramavruksha Benipuri Janma Sataabdi Sammaan” from Jaimuni Academy (Panipat) in 2002. An English translation of her poem, “Veyirekkala Pavuram” (Myriad Winged Bird) has been included in the syllabus of English texts in the poetry section of Degree year students by the Common Core syllabus Committee in AP from 2008.