A TWO-MINUTE SILENCE

Kedarnath Singh (7 July 1934 – 19 March 2018) was one of the most prominent modern poets writing in Hindi. He was also an eminent critic and essayist. He was awarded the Jnanpith Award (2013), Sahitya Akademi Award (1989) in Hindi for his poetry collection, Akaal Mein Saras (Cranes in Drought). Kedarnath Singh is widely acknowledged as one of the major writers of contemporary Hindi poetry. Subtle, understated, economical, nuanced and allusive, Singh’s poetry has been associated with the New Poetry and Progressive Writers’ Movements in Hindi. Translated by Alok Bhalla

Brothers and sisters
this day is dying
a two-minute silence
for this dying day

for the bird flying away
for the still water
for the night-fall
a two-minute silence

for that which is
for that which is not
for that which could have been
a two-minute silence

for the discarded peel
for the crushed grass
for every plan
for every project
a two-minute silence

for this great century
for every great idea
of this great century
for its great words
and great intentions
a two-minute silence

brothers and sisters
for these great achievements
a two-minute silence. 

 

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Kedarnath Singh  Written by:

Kedarnath Singh (7 July 1934 – 19 March 2018) was one of the most prominent modern poets writing in Hindi. He was also an eminent critic and essayist. He was awarded the Jnanpith Award (2013), Sahitya Akademi Award (1989) in Hindi for his poetry collection, Akaal Mein Saras (Cranes in Drought). Kedarnath Singh is widely acknowledged as one of the major writers of contemporary Hindi poetry. Subtle, understated, economical, nuanced and allusive, Singh’s poetry has been associated with the New Poetry and Progressive Writers’ Movements in Hindi.

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