પન્ના નાયક April 13th, 2011
Below are my two English poems that were published in a very well-known American journal named World Literature Today.
PDF file of the article – WLT-PN
You and I
two separate bodies
but a single soul –
a million efforts have been made
to see this ideal come alive
but somehow deep somewhere
rings a perennial echo
of each other’s non-acceptance.
We are nothing else –
just two pages of a book
facing each other
bound but separate
just sewn together by predestined debts
of mortal ties.
મૂળ ગુજરાતી કાવ્ય: ઋણાનુબંધ
Lying in bed
staring at the ceiling
I felt like reaching out:
it seemed so close.
After an unsuccessful attempt,
I put chair upon chair upon chair
on my bed, stood atop this pyramid
like an acrobat
but still could not touch the surface
that had seemed so close.
I cannot figure out
whether the ceiling is much too high
or my arms much too short.
મૂળ ગુજરાતી કાવ્ય: કે પછી
Translations from Gujarati
by the author and Saleem Peeradina
A distinguished Gujarati poet, Panna Naik has been active on the Gujarati literary front for approximately four decades and has established herself as a major writer. She has written several volumes of pathbreaking poetry and short stories and has given a distinct voice to Indian women as evidenced by her worldwide following. Her poetry has been amply recognized and awarded by Gujarati literary establishments both in India and the United States. In addition, she has also done pioneering work in the teaching of the Gujarati language and taught second-generation students as adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
Saleem Peeradina, Associate Professor of English at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan, is the author of First Offence (1980), Group Portrait (1992), and Mediations on Desire (2003). He edited Contemporary Indian Poetry in English (1972), one of the earliest and most widely used texts in courses on South Asian literature. The Ocean in My Yard, Peeradina’s prose memoir of growing up in Bombay, was published by Penguin Books in 2005. His poetry is represented in major anthologies of Indian, South Asian, and Asian American writing and appeared in the November 2009 issue of WLT.