Amrita Pritam

(31 August 1919 – 31 October 2005 / Gujranwala, Punjab / Pakistan)

Me


Lots of contemporaries—
but 'me' is not my contemporary.

My birth without 'me'
was a blemished offering on the collection plate.
A moment of flesh, imprisoned in flesh.

And when to the tip of this tongue of flesh
some word comes, it kills itself.
If saved from killing itself,
it descends to the paper, where a murder happens.

Gunshot—
if it strikes me in Hanoi
it strikes again in Prague.

A little smoke floats up,
and my 'me' dies like an eighth-month child.
Will my 'me' one day be my contemporary?

Submitted: Monday, September 24, 2012
Edited: Monday, September 24, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

[Translated from the Punjabi by D.H. Tracy & Mohan Tracy]

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