Jennifer Reeser : Translated by Kalpna Singh-Chitnis

 

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Jennifer Reeser is the author of four full-length poetry collections. Former editor of The Paris Review, X. J. Kennedy, wrote that her debut collection, An Alabaster Flask, (winner of the Word Press First Book Prize), “ought to have been a candidate for a Pulitzer.” Her third book, Sonnets from the Dark Lady and Other Poems, was a finalist for the Donald Justice Prize. Her most recent title, The Lalaurie Horror, has remained an Amazon bestseller in the category of epic poetry since its release in September of 2013. Her poems, critical essays, and translations of French and Russian literature have appeared nationally, internationally, and in Internet venues such as POETRY, The National Review, Able Muse, The Hudson Review, Light Quarterly, Unsplendid and Louisiana Literature. Her writing has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Longman’s college textbook, An Introduction to Literature, edited by Dana Gioia and X.J. Kennedy, and Poets Translate Poets: A Hudson Review Anthology. Her work is mandatory reading in state universities, writing programs and high schools across the United States. She has received awards in writing from Pulitzer Prize winning author, Robert Olen Butler, from former Poetry Society of America Vice-President, Director of The World Order of Narrative and Formalist Poets, Doctor Alfred Dorn, and from The Lyric magazine. She is the former assistant editor of Iambs and Trochees. Her translations of the Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova, are authorized by the FTM Agency, Moscow. She is a mentor with the West Chester Poetry Conference, the largest annual convention on poetry in the United States. She lives amid the bayous of southern Louisiana with her husband and children. Her website is found at www.jenniferreeser.com

 

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BIO

Kalpna Singh-Chitnis is a bi-lingual Indo-American poet, writer and filmmaker based in California, USA. Author of the “Bare Soul” (a poetry collection in English) and three poetry collections in Hindi, she won the prestigious “Bihar Rajbhasha Award” (1986-87) given by the government of Bihar, India, for her first poetry collection “Chand Ka Paivand” (Patch of Moon) before age 21, and the title of ‘Bihar Shri’ (Jewel of Bihar) in 1988. She also received “Rajiv Gandhi Global Excellence Award” in 2014 in New Delhi, for her contributions to literature and film at national and international levels. Kalpna’s poetry collections “Chand Ka Paivand,” (Patch of Moon) “Tafteesh Jari Hai” (The Investigation Continues) and “Nishant” (The Dawn) have received praise from eminent writers, scholars and critics such as Nobel prize nominees Dr. Wazir Agha, Naseer Ahmad Nasir, Vaptsarov Award and Ordre des Arts et des Lettres winner poet Amrita Pritam, Academy Award winning lyricist, poet and filmmaker Gulzar and others. Kalpna’s literary works have been widely published in Indian subcontinent, Europe and North America. She is the creator and editor of “Life and Legends”, a multilingual literary magazine and contributing editor of Levure litteraire in Paris, France. Known for her feature film “Goodbye My Friend” and “Girl With An Accent” she is currently working on her next film “Dancing in the Rain” (based on a true story), to raise awareness about the issue of honor killing in Indian Sub-continent and Mid-East. More about Kalpna Singh-Chitnis at – www.kalpnasinghchitnis.com

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(Poems translated from the original English into Hindi by Kalpna Singh-Chitnis )

 

NO VOODOO

No mystical sixth sense do I possess.
I hardly handle normal senses well.
No vision have I ever had of Hell.
Jesus does not drop in at my address.
My life has been one life — no more, no less,
none from the past I could revive to tell.
I have no voodoo, could not cast a spell
to save said life, in time of great distress.

And yet with you, one moment may restore
my ordinary sense,then supplement
an extra, like an amulet, when cursed.
I feel your absence at the bedroom door,
your presence a celestial event,
this common bond between us, not our first.

 

कोई जादू नहीं

मेरे पास कोई छठी ज्ञानेन्द्रिय नहीं.
मैं तो अपनी सामान्य इन्द्रियों का भी उपयोग करने में शायद ही सक्षम हूँ.
न तो नर्क की कोई दृष्टि मुझे प्राप्त,
ना ही ईसा मसीह मेरे पते पे कभी हाज़िर.
मेरा जीवन सिर्फ एक जीवन – न ज़्यादा, न कम,
अतीत से कुछ भी पुनर्जीवित करने में मैं सक्षम नहीं.
और व्यथा से जीवन को बचा ले जाऊं
उसके लिये कोई काला जादू करने में समर्थ.

पर यह एक तुम हो, जो क्षण भर में मेरी सारी चेतनाओं को बटोर लाते हो
और ऊपर से एक तोहफा और ताबीज़ का,
मुझ शापग्रषित के लिए.
तुम्हारी कमी मेरे कमरे के दरवाजे पर खड़ी,
और तुम्हारा अस्तित्व अंतरिक्ष में एक उत्सव की तरह
और मेरे और तुम्हारे बीच का यह अनुबंधन जो है न, वह पहली बार का नहीं.

 

LOUISIANA BROKE MY SLEEP

Louisiana broke my sleep this morning
and drew me down her autumn waterways.
The cypress moss a-sway, the bayou yawning,
Louisiana broke my sleep this morning.
White egrets fell across the sunscape dawning,
as into skies of humid, coral haze,
Louisiana broke my sleep this morning,
and drew me down her autumn waterways.

 

लुईज़ियाना मेरी नींद तोड़ गयी

आज सुबह लुईज़ियाना मेरी नींद तोड़ गयी
और खींच ले गई मुझे अपने पतझड़ के जलमार्गों की ओर।
सनौवर की काई हिलोरे लेती, और जम्भाई लेती ठहरी झील,
आज सुबह लुईज़ियाना मेरी नींद तोड़ गयी।
और श्वेत बगुले उमड़ पड़े उगते सौर्य पटल पर,
जैसे उमस भरे आसमान में लाल कुहरा।
आज सुबह लुईज़ियाना मेरी नींद तोड़ गयी,
और खींच ले गई मुझे अपने पतझड़ के जलमार्गों की ओर।

 

*****

 

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