Arun Balkrishna Kolatkar (Marathi: अरुण बालकृष्ण कोलटकर) was a poet from Maharashtra, India. Writing in both Marathi and English, his poems found humor in many everyday matters. His poetry had an influence on modern Marathi poets. His first book of English poetry, Jejuri, is a collection 31 poems pertaining to a visit of his to a religious place with the same name Jejuri in Maharashtra; the book won Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1977. His Marathi verse collection Bhijki Vahi won a Sahitya Akademi Award in 2005. His Collected Poems in English, edited by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, was published in Britain by Bloodaxe Books in 2010.
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Arun Kolatkar Poems
The tarpaulin flaps are buttoned down on the windows of the state transport bus. all the way up to jejuri.
An Old Woman
An old woman grabs hold of your sleeve and tags along
A herd of legends on a hill slope looked up from its grazing when chaitanya came in sight
Are you looking for a god? I know a good one. His name is Yeshwant Rao and he's one of the best.
There is no story behind it. It is split like a second. It hinges around itself.
A Low Temple
A low temple keeps its gods in the dark. You lend a matchbox to the priest. One by one the gods come to light.
The Horseshoe Shrine
That nick in the rock is really a kick in the side of the hill. It's where a hoof struck
Heart of Ruin
The roof comes down on Maruti's head. Nobody seems to mind.
A game of tigers and sheep
Who has the tigers and who the sheep never seems to make any difference. The result is always the same: She wins,
The Tea Stall
The young novice at the tea stall has taken a vow of silence
Sweet as grapes are the stone of jejuri said chaitanya.
What is god and what is stone the dividing line if it exists
This is the time of day I like best, and this the hour when I can call this city my own;
The spirit of the place lives inside the mangy body of the station dog
Comments about Arun Kolatkar
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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The tarpaulin flaps are buttoned down
on the windows of the state transport bus.
all the way up to jejuri.
a cold wind keeps whipping
and slapping a corner of tarpaulin at your elbow.
you look down to the roaring road.
you search for the signs of daybreak in what little light spills out of bus.
your own divided face in the pair of glasses
on an oldman`s nose
is all the countryside you get to see.
you seem to move continually forward.
toward a destination
just beyond the castemark beyond his eyebrows.
outside, the sun has risen ...