It Happens Again

It was a woman's heart
that was speaking
had been speaking
for ages

It was a woman's heart
that was silent
had been silent
for centuries

And between them was a mountain -
a man or
a rat
that gnawed
even in times of friendship
at the screaming voice
at the silent tongue
from the very first day

Translation notes

This is one of Amrita Bharati's more explicitly feminist poems, yet the delivery retains her characteristically understated tone. Only 'screaming', in the final stanza, and the unsettling image of something gnawing at 'the silent tongue', betrays the fury from which this poem is wrought.

We tried out various titles - 'The Same Thing Again', 'It's Happening Again' - before deciding on the sense of weariness and repetition in 'It Happens Again' (and again).


1 Sanjeev Kumar

I like poet…......

        I have no words to express my thanks to you….

2 Nisha Jain

its owesome. Poet expresses the truth of life and sensitivity as well. I salute her.

3 Lalita Agashe

Thank you very much, the poetrytranslationgroup, for making so many lovely poems available for enjoying!  The poem by Amritaji is so eloquent on the woman’s status since the time immortal! Thanks to Lucy for superb translation.
A small but important point that would increase the value of the translated poem is in the secondlast line. The poet says ‘sunna hui jubaan ko’ meaning ‘the toungue that has “become silent” it is not just ‘silent’.

Thank you for allowing this sharing that I believe will help the translation process further.

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