Friday, 5 July 2013

For word and meaning
Are intertwined, like
Parvati and Parameshwara
Without one, the other is
nothing.

They are two, together.
Conjunct, each to each
They beget the world.

To them I bow,
Saying, softly
In the beginning
There was the Word.


वागर्थाविव संपृक्तौ वागर्थप्रतिपत्तये।

जगतः पितरौ वन्दे पार्वतीपरमेश्वरौ॥

*


The original, in Sanskrit, is the first poem in Kalidasa's Raghuvamsa. The translation is my own poor attempt to convey what I feel when I read it. For word and meaning are together two-who-are-one.

And if Kalidasa regarded his version of the tale of the clan of Raghu a wooden raft upon the ocean of milk, how much poorer I, having not even a sail, or a hull.

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