In the Stillness of a Word


Amrita Bharati's poetry is remarkably delicate and the central aim of the adjustments we made to Lucy Rosenstein's literal version was to retain the understated tranquility of her tone.

We hesitated over 'turn' in the final stanza, nearly choosing 'veer' or 'change' instead. But we settled in the end on 'turn' as it encapsulated the ambiguities in the Hindi original: of the path itself changing direction in both a physical and a metaphysical sense.

There are no capital letters in Hindi, and no punctuation. We decided to have as little punctuation as possible, using capital letters at the beginnings of certain lines to indicate a fresh sentence, and adding a couple of dashes where they clarified the sense.

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