Tuesday, April 29, 2014

एक कवि सदा के लिए

"Pan Tadeusz"
Tadeusz Różewicz, 1921-2014

To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric, and this corrodes even the knowledge of why it has become impossible to write poetry today.” (Adorno)

Is poetry possible after Auschwitz?

In the work of quite a few poets – Tadeusz Różewicz and Paul Celan among them – we find a recognition of, and a serious attempt to answer, the troubling question. Of all nationalities and languages, it is the Polish who took up the challenge to address it urgently and collectively. Thus was formed the ethics and poetics of post-War Polish poetry. A whole generation of poets were immersed in it – the most eminent among them was the now well-known quartet of Tadeusz Różewicz, Zbigniew Herbert, Wisława Szymborska, Czesław Miłosz.  Their voice reached much beyond Europe and in case of Różewicz transcended the barriers of language and culture to influence every human being who even randomly came in touch with it.

Różewicz brought his avant garde instinct to bear upon the most austere and ethically sustainable poetic tradition in the twentieth century. This makes him a genuine successor of César Vallejo and to some extent Bertolt Brecht, the great poets of the inter-war years, and outside his generation of Polish poets he had the company of contemporaries like Paul Celan and Andrei Voznesensky.

A few centuries down the line, if the civilisation still survives, he would come across as well as the great poets of the Tang era, the medieval Persia, the Punjabi Sufi tradition or the Urdu classicism still do today.


I grow
in the bondings of walls 

where they are
there where they meet
there where they are vaulted

there I penetrate
a blind seed 

scattered by the wind

patiently I spread
in the cracks of silence
I wait for the walls to fall 

and return to earth

then I will cover 
names and faces

Tr. Adam Czerniawski



मैं उगती हूँ
दीवारों की संधि में
वहाँ जहाँ वे
जुड़ती हैं
वहाँ जहाँ वे आ मिलती हैं
वहाँ जहाँ वे मेहराबदार हो जाती हैं

वहाँ मैं बो देती हूँ
एक अंधा बीज
हवाओं का बिखेरा गया

धैर्य के साथ मैं फैलती हूँ
सन्नाटे की दरारों में
मुझे इन्तिज़ार है दीवारों के गिरने
और ज़मीन पर लौटने का

तब मैं ढक लूँगी
नाम और चेहरे

अनुवाद : असद ज़ैदी