Sukumar Ray

(30 October 1887 - 10 September 1923 / Calcutta / India)

Baburam The Snake Charmer Poem by Sukumar Ray


Hullo, there Baburam – what have you got in there?
Snakes? Aha – and do you think there’s one that youcould spare
You know, I’d love to have one, but let me tell you this–
The ones that bite aren’t right for me – nor the onesthat hiss.

I’d also skip the ones that butt
As well the ones that whistle
Or the ones that slink about
Or show their fangs, or bristle.

As for eating habits, I think it would be nice
To go for ones that only take a meal of milk and rice.
I’m sure you know the kind of snake that want fromwhat I’ve said,
Do let me have one, Baburam, so I could bash itshead.

[Original: 'Baburam Shapure' (Bengali), Translated by: Satyajit Ray (the able son of Sukumar Roy)]

Submitted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Edited: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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