The Mask & Other Poems : Nand Kishore Acharya

NKA BOOK 1The Flute: The Peacock’s Feather

‘Hope you do not mind If I refuse to be
Your flute any longer

Not that I feel neglected –
Rather I was well-placed
On your lips always
But could I ever own
The music that flowed
From my pores?

The peacock feather Had a better deal

It found a place On your crown

-It had its own beauty That was there even if It was not placed there

Not a small difference this is That I must live
For your music
And that you are a tool
For the feather to express its beauty!

Mind not
That I am
No longer your flute.



Is a rock
Even more transparent than the sleep? That your dream appears clear in it

And you engrave it – You are an artist after all!

What happens to these pieces
That you chip off
While engraving?
And the image – whatever it is –
It is you
And not the rock?

Is there no dream of the injured rock Crying in it ?
Of course, a rock is a tool What is its dream
And What could it possibly own?

Is it right then
That those who own nothing Become tools
And live for someone else’s dream?

Immersed in the image

How will anyone get it Lee Po
One who is not a poet – That a poem is achieved

When one is immersed in the image – And not when in
What he himself is an image of

This is why God is a poet

Do not ask, immersed in whose image!

Whose unfinished form was it?

‘In the beginning there was only the Word’ – Word
That gives shape to silence
And so leads silence to completion

That is what
This creation came from

But what reached its conclusion in the creation Whose unfinished form was it?

The Mask

What I put aside After the skit

Is it a mask
Or is it really my face – In which I feel myself for a while

And the face
That you say is mine Is really a mask

Which I wear all the time Enacting myself as a skit.

Translated by the poet

About author

Nand Kishore Acharya
Nand Kishore Acharya 1 posts

Nand Kishore Acharya is an Indian playwright, poet, and critic who was born in Bikaner, Rajasthan. Acharya commenced his writing career early with an analytical work on the writings of one of the most eminent writers of India, Ajneya. Acharya himself grew to find his own distinct voice in literature. His plays, poems criticism, articles on issues of contemporary concerns and on education and his translations have been praised. He has translated many classical as well as modern and contemporary poets including Riocaan, Brodsky and Lorca and the works of M.N. Roy. Currently a Professor of Eminence at IIIT Hyderabad, Acharya teaches courses on themes as diverse as non-violence and development. He is a lifetime member of Vatsalnidhi Trust. He is also an Assistant Editor in Everyman's, Co-Editor of Naya Pratik, and Editor of Arumaru, Marudeep and Chiti. The Sahitya Akademi's journal Madhumati has published a complete issue (July / August 2000) on him as a person and poet.

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