In Your Own Words
by Mohan Rana
They said: Don't go to the end of the Earth
because your lengthening shadow will frighten you.
There it is the world of winged pythons;
the earth there is ablaze with the fire they spit.
If you arrive where it is neither day nor night
you'll be turned into stone while you are waiting.
As if I had heard these words of mine
from somebody else.
If I'd had a full life rehearsal
I'd have made some changes to the text;
but I can't get away from my own words:
But I wasn't good enough,
I couldn't write for days.
Living in evil times, I turned evil;
not seeing time passing,
I became imperceptible
as if trapped in clockwork
driven crazy by my own words.
From Is Chor Par, On This Shore
The literal translation of this poem was made by Lucy Rosenstein
The final translated version of the poem is by Bernard O'Donoghue
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2013