Excerpt from My Will by K. Satchidanandan


The following poem appears in our Fall 2016 print issue. Purchase a full copy of this issue in print or digital format.

My body I bequeath to wind.
Let hunger turn it into a tempest,
let its thirst become rain;
let it wander eternally in heat and cold
with its odour of salt and slush
and snake-root flowers
and its endless longings
to expiate its sins against the soul.

My thoughts I bequeath to fire.
Let them burn in every hearth,
flower as flames in every nerve,
let the earth turn pure
in the dance of flames,
let children light torches from it.

My emotions I bequeath to water.
Let the dried up rivers blossom again,
let springs raise their hoods
and dance in the deserts
let them sing the lullabies of eternity
in the blue solitude of the
sailors on the deep sea.

K SatchindanandanK. SATCHIDANANDAN (b. 1946) is perhaps the most translated of contemporary Indian poets, having 23 collections of translation in 19 languages including English, Irish, Chinese, Arabic, French, German and Italian besides several poems in Russian, Latvian, Spanish, Welsh Swedish and Slovenian. . His book While I Write: New and Selected Poems (Harper-Collins, India) came out in 2011 and Misplaced Objects and Other Poems (Sahitya Akademi, India) in 2014. Satchidanandan writes poetry in Malayalam, and prose in both Malayalam and English and has more than 20 collections of poetry besides several books of travel, plays and criticism including five books in English on Indian literature. He has also edited 16 works in English and 8 in Malayalam besides having edited many journals including Indian Literature, the journal of the Indian National Academy. He has represented India in many Literary Festivals and Book Fairs across the world including those in London, Paris, Leipzig, Berlin, Frankfurt, Beijing , Rotterdam, Sarajevo, New York, Colombia, Peru, Cuba, Lahore, Abu Dhabi , Sharjah, Moscow, Montreal, Medellin, Delhi and Jaipur. He is a Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi and has won 34 literary awards including the Sahitya Akademi (Indian National Academy) award, Kerala Sahitya Akademi award ( five times, for different genres), Gangadhar Meher National Award, Kusumagraj National Award , NTR National award, Kuvempu National Award, and Bharateey Bhasha Parishad Award besides Knighthood of the Order of Merit from the Government of Italy and India-Poland Friendship Medal from the Government of Poland. A film on him, Summer Rain, was released in 2006.He has also been twice in the list of the Nobel Prize probables.

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