Jayanta Mahapatra is one of the best known Indian English poets. Perhaps any discussion on Indian English Poetry is incomplete without reference to his poetical works. Physicist, bilingual poet and essayist, Jayanta Mahapatra holds the distinction of being the first Indian English poet to have received the Sahitya Akademi Award (1981) for Relationship. In 2009 he was awarded by Government of India with "Padmashree Award", country's most prestigious award for civilian citizen for his out standing contribution to the field of literature.
Birth and Early Life
Jayanta Mahapatra, born on 22 October 1928 in Cuttack ( India ), belongs to a lower middle-class ... more »
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Jayanta Mahapatra Poems
It was hard to believe the flesh was heavy on my back. The fisherman said: Will you have her, carelessly, trailing his nets and his nerves, as though his words sanctified the purpose with which he faced himself.
The substance that stirs in my palm could well be a dead man; no need to show surprise at the dizzy acts of wind. My old father sitting uncertainly three feet away
The little girl's hand is made of darkness How will I hold it?
At times, as I watch, it seems as though my country's body floats down somewhere on the river.
A Summer Poem
Over the soughing of the sombre wind priests chant louder than ever; the mouth of India opens.
Afterwards when the wars of Kalinga were over, the fallow fields of Dhauli hid the blood-spilt butchered bodies. [originally 'red-smeared voiceless bodies']
The yellowed diary's notes whisper in vernacular. They sound the forgotten posture, the cramped cry that forces me to hear that voice. Now I stumble back in your black-paged wake.
Dawn at puri
Endless crow noises A skull in the holy sands tilts its empty country towards hunger.
The Moon Moments
The faint starlight rolls restlessly on the mat. Those women talking outside have clouds passing across their eyes. Always there is a moon that is taking me somewhere. Why does one room invariably lead into other room?
A rain of rites
Sometims a rain comes slowly across the sky, that turns upon its grey cloud, breaking away into light before it reaches its objective.
The Captive Air of Chandipur-on-Sea
Day after day the drunk sea at Chandipur spits out the gauze wings of shells along the beach and rumples the thin air behind the sands.
Not yet. Under the mango tree The cold ash of a deserted fire.
Taste for Tomorrow
At Puri, the crows.
The Indian Way
The long, dying silence of the rain over the hills opens one's touch,
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
It was hard to believe the flesh was heavy on my back.
The fisherman said: Will you have her, carelessly,
trailing his nets and his nerves, as though his words
sanctified the purpose with which he faced himself.
I saw his white bone thrash his eyes.
I followed him across the sprawling sands,
my mind thumping in the flesh's sling.
Hope lay perhaps in burning the house I lived in.
Silence gripped my sleeves; his body clawed at the froth
his old nets had only dragged up from the seas.
In the flickering dark his lean-to opened like a wound.
The wind ...