Sukrita Paul Kumar


Sukrita Paul Kumar, born in Kenya, currently lives in Delhi, writing poetry and teaching literature. An Honorary Fellow of the prestigious International Writing Program, University of Iowa (USA), Cambridge Seminars and a former Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, she was also an invited poet in residence at Hong Kong Baptist University. A recipient of many international fellowships and residencies, she is Honorary faculty at the Durrell Center at Corfu (Greece). Her books of poems in English include Without Margins and Folds of Silence in addition to two bilingual collections Poems Come Home (with translations by Gulzar) and Rowing Together (with Savita Singh). She was the Guest Editor of Crossing Over (University of Hawaii). A number of Sukrita’s poems have emerged from her experience of working with homeless people, Tsunami victims and street children.

Among others, Sukrita’s major critical works include Narrating Partition.Her edited/co-edited books include Speaking for Herself :Asian Women’s Writings (Penguin) and Cultural Diversity in India (Macmillan India). She is also a translator and an artist.




Dream Catcher

I must reach the forest in time
Before the break of dawn each day
to pick some dreams
scattered in misty darkness

I must reach
Before the sun crackles
through the leaves of the trees on which
dreams pile up
perching on the branches
through the night

Dreams -half-dreamt, fully dreamt-
And those yet to be dreamt-
Like babies, born and unborn,
Crying out for attention,
Making weird faces in sleep

I pick what gets my fancy
Bits from my wrinkled past
The shadowy fragments of future
Mixing in twilight
Droplets of dew
Ready to vanish with sunrise

Each day I come home with a bagful
Of dreams
That drip through the day
For me and all

Each night
I wait for the new dawn.



I saw it all
in that instance
The dance of creation
On his visage
Laughing Buddha
breaking into tears
streaming through wrinkles,
deep crevices in time
Was he crying, didn’t matter…

All of twenty two musical shrutis
Resting between his eyebrows
Between nad and anhad

Loud dark silence
of pain, of joy
vibrating in the tunnel
through the middle ear,
Not releasing,
not even in microsounds
slowly homing in
brushes with paint swinging
in different moods, different colors
all the nine rasas and more
couched in vales, in heights
rising to melt
into air, fill the skies

tingling in his paralytic body

Were those the tears of joy,
didn’t matter!


How to begin

This way
That way

It has to
Surface on this paper

From the wilderness
Of the forest and its stinging nettles,
Knotted bushes and twigs

It has to emerge
On this vacancy

From the black holes
Of the universes, seen and unseen,
Through meteor storms and
Somersaulting planets
The hand has to appear with
The finger pointing

This way
That way




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  1. Kishwar Ahmed Shirali

    EnChanting,dreams in the forest

  2. Thank you for these poems. They leave an impression after I have read them. They have a presence.

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