Literary Review

Namdeo Dhasal in a Photograph

Marathi Dalit poet Namdeo Dhasal. Photo Henning Stegmuller   | Photo Credit: GRJGM

You who spelt the sick

World’s death sentence

You threw all the doors

Open with your venom

Licking the poison with

Your tongue and biting

Its heart with your teeth

Your season in hell was

Harsher than Rimbaud’s

It wasn’t your hell alone

But also the hell of your

People who like bursting

Sores dwelt in your body

You allowed those sores

To infiltrate your poems

Where unloosed panthers

Rent the quarantined air

And what irony, Namdeo,

The government worries

Of thread worms in water

While you sit on the moss

Wondering when foul gods

Will disappear from earth

Writing on wall reads: “Panee gaalaa, naaroo taalaa" (Filter water to avoid Naaroo). ‘Naaroo’ is a disease caused by thread worm infection that was prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s.

(Manash is a poet whose first collection, Ghalib's Tomb and Other Poems, was published in November 2013 by The London Magazine.)

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 4:21:43 PM |

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