He Who Was a Poet a tribute to Jayanta Mahapatra by lyricist Gulzar

Jayant Mahapatra’s writings spanning over 50 years have left an indelible mark on Indian English poetry.

A tribute to poet Jayanta Mahapatra by lyricist Gulzar

He who was a poet used to stay silent

And say the strangest things

With his eyes trained at one’s ears he would listen

To the sound of mute silences

He would collect the shadows of the moon

And the damp drops of light

Filling the dry leaves of the night in his cupped hands

He would rattle them

Poet-lyricist Gulzar.

Poet-lyricist Gulzar.

From this dense forest of Time

He would pluck ripe-unripe moments

Yes, he, that strange poet

Would wake up in the night and

Raising on his elbows

Kiss the moon on its chin

I heard he departed from the earth yesterday

— Translated from the Urdu original by Rakhshanda Jalil

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