Dilip Chitre

(17 September 1938 – 10 December 2009 / Gujarat / India)

Flesh Tint


Like a painting by Velazquez
A woman stands
Alone in the frame
Touched by the brush of light
Blossoming.

How did
Flesh Tint reflect Naples Yellow
In this greenish blue room?

What made the sun
Suddenly rise on the palette?

That beggarwoman on Tulsi Pipe Road
That streetwalker in Chicago
What immortal light has washed them
To make her stand here
Naked
In mysterious clarity?

Venice, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome
Florence, Castile, Nice,
Pune, Satara, Valsad, Palanpur, Jaisalmer,
Thrissur, Kottayam,
Hissar, Ludhiana, Muzaffarpur, Bhuvaneshwar,
Ujjain, Jhansi, East Godavari, Karwar,
Vengurla, Alibag,
All geography is as colourless as linseed oil
Pigments come from the sky
Like a naked woman from over the Western Ghats
Luminous.

[Translated from Shesha: Selected Marathi Poems ]

Submitted: Thursday, March 29, 2012

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  • Rookie - 150 Points Romella Kitchens (4/18/2014 2:05:00 AM)

    This comment is for Chitre's poem Flesh Tint. Ekphrasis is poetry influenced by art work. Or, it can be art created yhrough poetry. Chitre goes much further here and becomes the poetry artist blending the human with flora and fauna and seeing importance in it all. Western Ghats is mentioned in this poem. It is on the west coast of India and is on the World Heritage List. Its surreal blues and greens and spectacular wildlife give a canvas of global respect and concern to this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 150 Points Romella Kitchens (4/18/2014 1:54:00 AM)

    The piano in this poem could be symbolic of the need to express oneself, family, history and connection whether good, bad or both. It could also be metaphoric of the coffin. The diamond would possibly be the perpetual of the crematory ash the poet infers by the term pieces in this poem. It is known pressure hones diamonds, weight. The poet expresses exemplar after exemplar, the weight of Bombay. One of Chitre's best poems. (Report) Reply

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