Poems of Manoj Jha

Translated by Anchit

Manoj Jha 

is a poet of memory, vision and observation. Born in Darbhanga and writing primarily in Hindi, he has been awarded with "Bharat Bhushan Agarwal prize" among others. His poems belong to the people, originating in them, him being an intrinsic part of what forms us. He has published the translations of works of Chomsky, Eagleton, Foucault and Zizek. He is keenly interested in contemporary thinkers. 


life arose
like a mountain of foam rises.
if i collect it all, not even a single tree is a thing of greenery.
the trees which gave the morning, the evening
and the shade of noon,
if i can't provide their four branches with water,
then it is better to be erased.
but even to be erased is with the treaties of the winds.
i cannot elect a government,
you talk about choosing death.


a sick body is like a beating on the drums-
see how the society is, how the neighbours are,
the government is not even a mosquito's net.
tying a torn muffler, one has to shoo away foxes from the farms.
big funds were raised during ramnavmi.
a trembling body asking for offerings-
the one who has drunk alcohol thrice since morning, objects for asking again.
this death will not be caused by hunger but by sickness.
an angry dog sits next to the medicine shop,
the shopkeeper will not shoo it away.
he knows that you have come to buy a tablet costing fifty paise.
what difference does it make that you die from hunger
or from a dog bite!

a sick body sheers the colours of the sunshine.
but no matter that the colours of sunshine are torn or the intestines of desolation are butchered
these people will choose different eyes and different ears.

The clan of strange unfortunates

Faux accents have given many friends
one of them used to call letters, ash.
remaining silent after getting beaten up also made many friends.
one even said that a war requires a lot of time
and the children of a blind mother don't have that kind of time.
when many of us were left by our beloveds
we were called foolish and all we thought was that
they do not know the art of waiting and they have this weird addiction to rushing things
or they would have been curious that when at nights, the rivers cry,
us unfortunates, offer them shoulders with which they bear the sorrow whole day.

1 comment:

  1. I've gone through his awesome and imagery words earlier. He is himself a poet of delicate style of saying something unusual through simple yet great words. Salute to this son of soil for his dazzling poetry!