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,

I suffered.

When I’d struggle by myself to gain stability

and selfhood,

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’

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