write his operas in Czech thus limiting his audience. I feel that I am of his tribe.
The word for 'translation' in Punjabi is anuvād. It is derived from Sanskrit. Anu meaning, which follows, close, near, corresponding at the same time, and văd is the idea behind a sound. The sound is uttered word. The written word is silent. The poetic creative process can be defined in so many ways. Maybe the idea underlying the word anuvād equally applies to the birth of a poem. Here an imagined reality takes shape into words.
Perhaps my most recent poem written in English could relate that experience.
As you taught me to write the first letter
of Gurmukhi- the Punjabi script
holding my nervous hand in yours
You taught me to hold the camera
to focus on faces in the pupil of the eye
and to press the buttonholding my breath
As if it were a gun
loaded with bullets of life.
Where are you now father?
Can you take some time off from death?
I'd like to take my self-portrait sitting next to you
with a glint in my eyes.
Remember that photograph you took with the self-timer
of us together many years ago
You holding me cheek to cheek?
The photograph doesn't show the lump in your throat.
We'll exchange pictures I have taken
of faces you haven't seen
and of places you never visited
and you can show me yours taken in the valley of the dead.