An Old Poet’s Suicide Note

An Old Poet’s Suicide Note

Walking in the dark
I grew blind
Wading across silence
I turned deaf
Teachers who speak ceaselessly about light,
how far above is it?
Prophets who taught me about revolution,
how remote is it?
My legs have grown weary
My heart beats are slow
You still tell lies
Don’t lie to children, said the poet
who just died of the world.
I searched in all the books,
for a word of truth
I dug every drought
for a drop of tear
I can no more speak of earth’s beauty
sitting on a sinking land.
Cannot speak of trees sitting inside a storm
Cannot speak of beginnings inside a deluge
I had a country when I was born
Now I am a refugee
I was born with a single chain;
several chains fetter me now.
I raised my hands to scream against injustice
I said ‘don’t’ to the vile hunter.
My life is collection of vain deeds.
This is the first poem I write
without corrections and revisions
This is the first song of the night
I sing without faltering.
The spring of my dreams has gone dry
I draw the curtains on this shadow play,
quickly, easily, like switching off a TV set.
Farewell. Call me when the world changes.
I shall come back if the hungry worms
and the obstructing angels permit me.

K. Satchidanandan
A poet, essayist and literary critic writing in Malayalam. He lives in Delhi and his latest collection of poetry is The Missing Rib. He has translated this poem himself.


(source:  curated by Meena Kandasamy for Mint Lounge Aug 12th 2017)