Tempest of time (poems)

-Kondapalli Niharini

Translated by Elanaaga


I Go Along with Time

         Has my observation of society increased since poetry writing became a fond habit for me?I am unable to tell whether I am turning myself into poesy only from the observation of society. Yet I have no habit of writing a poem every day. However, if more incidents causing grief than those giving cheer surround a poet,how can his or her heart remain unresponsive? I am in the same situation. All such occasions have turned into lines of poems and are appearing as ‘Tempest of Time’ in front of you. The poems written by me in the past four years have been asking me when would I publish them in the form of a book! After my third poetry book, EnimidoAdugu(Eighth Step), new poems have assumed the shape of a book like this. Four years! I feel it would be better to say that I was deeply immersed in thoughts and churned my heart hundreds of times in the last four years than to say that I composed hundreds of poems! I did not include many of these poems in my third book though they were written by then. The reasons are known to everybody. Things like expenses andthe number of copies and pages come first. Many poems were left out like that. I am now facing the same problem again. Most of my poems were written when I was sad rather than happy. If a poet’s nature is such that he doesn’t respond to thoughts and incidents, how can his pen move? Compassionate readers, who read this book, would notice that these poems relate to present and past incidents, and have a humanitarian angle to them.

         For nearly two and a half years, Corona has been creating fear in the minds of people; the situation is such that we cannot overcome it even for a single moment. The news of the lockdown in Wuhan city in November 2019 is not just a report but pain of life. It’s a piece of news after reading which, nobody with the knowledge of newspapers can ignore it or not feel pity for the situation. Can poets’ hearts remain inert after reading it?!

         This book is a compilation of poems composed by me as a response to many social financial issues besides those about the travails caused by Corona.

         My poet friend, AnuguNarsimha Reddy, has written a foreword for this book without delay despite being busy with official duties. By making a mention of my father and father-in-law, he reminded me of my responsibility. He hasalso grasped the spirit of my poetry and described me as a feminist poet. His foreword has given further strength to my individuality. I extend my heartfelt thanks to him.

         Renowned poet and critic, GurijalaRamasheshaiah, has been reading my poetry andessays from time to time and giving me good advice to me. I express my thanks to him on this occasion.

         Gudipati is a good writer and editor. I had a literary acquaintance with him for many years. He encouraged me to bring out this book at the earliest and enabled me to succeed in my effort. I hereby express my gratitude to him.

         It gives me pleasure and pride to print the paintings of my father-in-law, a famous painter,the late KondapalliSheshagiriRao, on the covers of my books.

         All the members of my family have been extending support, which makes me happy. I hereby bless those who are younger than I and thank the elders.

         Most of the time, I am busy with creative writing and household chores. My husband, KondapalliVenugopalRao, always looks after me, and gives me support and courage.My hearty thanks to him and my children.

         I extend my greetings to the readers who respect poetry and consider it a compass for society. I am hereby putting this book before them.


         The English translation of my Telugu poetry book, KaalaPrabhanjanam, is in your hands now. Eminent poet, translator and literary critic Elanaaga has done the translation. With this, a bridge has been established between the two languages; these poems of mine can now be read by readers all over the world. I express my heartfelt thanks to Elanaaga for the same.

         Sri PradeepBiswal is a senior Odia poet of refute. He wrote a foreword couching his valuable opinions in it. I convey my profound gratitude to him. Sri K. DamodarRao who belongs to my native district is a prominent translator. He read my Telugu poetry and the English translation of it and penned a wonderful foreword. I extend my respectful thanks to him.

         The opinions of readers encourage poets and writers. I hope all will receive this rendering of my poetry nicely.

         Thanks to all.

–  KondapalliNeeharini


3. The Dark Night

I know not where from
this heap of pitch darkness has dropped.
And why is it silent?
It entered the pot of heart,
but brain-churning hasn’t happened.
The war of life did not end either.
What is this dark night whispering?

No flames of hunger,
nor are the piles of food in dearth.
No evidence of holes in the body as well.
Death is on rampage, surging swiftly
like floods inundating corpse-filled streets.
What is this dark night whispering?

Alleys, lanes became mute;
tools are lying idle in the corners.
Mouths, noses covered by nets.
Embraces are not to be seen;
distances are ruling the roost.
Lists of signs are not being opened.
What is this dark night whispering?

Bugles of war are not heard;
the preaching of equality is not
standing by the side as a support.
Word bullets are not firing properly,
the missiles of civic plans are
not hurtling into the sky.
What is this dark night whispering?

On whom is the anger vented?
Where are the sacrifices?
All the harshness of the heart
is becoming a queer aquatic animal.
A small microbe ready with a net
is not being discerned even by brilliant brains!
The horror that is robbing the poor
is laughing monstrously on lakhs of graves.
What is this dark night whispering?


(To be continued-)

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