Mountain Child

by Nirmala Putul

The mountain child —
a fragment of the mountain —
plays in the lap of the mountain

Toddling up the mountain
he plants his feet in the mountain soil
to rise like a mountain
in the land of mountains

The whole mountain
lives inside the mountain child
And in the lap of the mountain
lives the scurrying mountain child

The mountain child sees
a plane flying over the mountain
And he asks his father —
What is that bird?

The literal translation of this poem was made by Lucy Rosenstein

The final translated version of the poem is by The Poetry Translation Workshop


The poem we translated had already been translated from Santali to Hindi - it was the first time we had translated a translated poem. It was a very interesting process, and we hope to work with Sukrita Paul Kumar again in the future.


  1. April 22nd, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    yuvraj says:

    very nice poem, i enjoyed listening to it!!!!

  2. April 14th, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Kush Bansal says:

    any problems u faced during translation? please reply

    The PTC writes: we translated this poem in 2006 so we're afraid it's too long ago to remember the details of the translation process other than to reiterate that, as mentioned in the note below the final translation, it was translated directly from Hindi.

  3. October 15th, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Saiya says:

    it sounds so cute

  4. May 23rd, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Leslie Sloane says:

    In my thoughts, this is a beautiful poem reflecting the beginning journey of the joyful child who wishes to play, discover, and seek that which he/she sees beyond the veil from birth, and can now move about to discover in the physical world.

    It is the joining of the Heavens, which are present with the Mountain Child, weaving them in with the energies of the grounded and powerful mountain from which the physical strength is drawn, as the mountain itself holds the child safe

    Then, the wonderousness reveals itself through a magical question. 


    Nirmala was introduced to me by a friend, and I am very honoured to read her words of Love/Wisdom.


    Leslie Sloane