Triveni Journal

1927 | 11,233,916 words

Triveni is a journal dedicated to ancient Indian culture, history, philosophy, art, spirituality, music and all sorts of literature. Triveni was founded at Madras in 1927 and since that time various authors have donated their creativity in the form of articles, covering many aspects of public life....


Gurram Joshua (Translated from Telugu by B. Theodore)


[Among the Telugu poets of this century the late Gurrarn Joshua has earned a worthy place for himself. “Firdausi” is considered to be the best of his works. Here are some verses rendered into English by B. Theodore.

Blessed is the womb that conceives the poet,
Immortal is the patron that receives his work;
But the so-called eminent people on earth
Consider the poet as a worthless person.                                   1-12

The deftness that lies in the Creator’s hand
Lies in the quill of the poet too;
He alone can exercise power divine;
Really he’s worthy reverence by all.                                          1-13

The clustering of words, and the rhythm of the poem
That matches the movement of horses’ hooves.
The richness of thought and the natural flow
Moved the hearts of the poets in the court.                                1-42

O Sultan Mahmud! the spurious lightnings
I trusted and a castle of Hope I built,
Which now has become a firmament void,
Usurping my all, collapsed in hell;
In vain I stand in a world of grief.                                              1-47

The sin of offering my poetic nectar
To the Sultans that possess stony hearts
Who offer humans as a prey to their swords
Verily has smitten me; how can I get
The money already has gone destroyed
By the fire of wilful sin of mine?                                                 1-48

Ink in my quill has remained to write
Mournful ditties dull and insipid;
Hapless I am, my strength declined,
The demon of Age has enveloped my body;
These tears of despair have become the fruit
Of my literary service of thirty years.                                         1-49

Each of the couplets a drop of blood
Consumed from me; in vain I have written;
Will the noblest king thus utter lies?
Will he not pay my gold he owes?
Alas! this fact I knew not before,
O Sultan of Ghazni! Mahmud the Great!                                    1-50

After promising by Allah, O knave! you tried
To pay me in silver for my poesy of gold:
Will Allah be pleased with your worship, O king?
He that breaks not his promise, O Sultan!
He alone is human and blest on earth.                                        1–51 

As a tiger my poesy has devoured my strength;
My skeleton half-dead has remained shaky;
Can the goddess of Mahmud’s sword relish
Flesh of the old man living but dead?
Can the shame incurred be wiped out by that?                           1-62

In the sea for pearls many a time
I dived but alas! unlucky I was;
Obtain I could not a single pearl
But the sea did gape to swallow me.                                          1-63

The tops of eastern hills were suffused
With saffron; the Sun, his crimson rays
Did spread; the Moon in the sky, crestfallen,
Clambered the plains of the western hills
Along with the man and headlong fell;
And the darkness changed into crows and cawed.                     2-9

Tickling the garlands of flirting waves
Of this river that flows with untiring roar,
And nodding your head for the charming dance
Of the rows of foam, and laughing merrily,
Why not you look at me when I bow?                                       2-12

At dawn and dusk on the objects of Nature
Your hallowed and lovely hand inscribes
Something and passes, which sometimes I find.
But comprehend I can’t, I’m slow to grasp;
Why have you thus created me, God!                                        2-17

By your grace does this Universe merrily sing
And knows not a little either good or bad;
Where have you learned this long-suffering. My Lord!
If anger you have, can the Sun in his course
In the firmament abide, or the day ever dawn?                           2-19

On the lovely couches of the clouds on the peak
Of the western hill the Moon like an infant
Does sleep, and building cradles for him
In the water of this lake and singing lullabies
Why don’t you look towards me, O God!

Why in the welkin have you bent your rainbow?
The Sun has hidden behind the clouds;
What treason has he done and brought this trouble?
Can the worlds withstand if you were enraged?                         2-31

For sport you twirled the earth as a top
Some ages ago with all your might;
If the speed of rotation would slow down a little,
Will the course of life on earth survive?
Which side will it tilt? What’ll be the consequence?
I surmise like this sometimes as a madman.                                2-32

Destructive sin that men have hoarded
Makes this earth abhor and groan;
But the wrath of God does fear to kindle
Perhaps because of men like you.                                              3-26

O Ingrate! sink in the sea of shame!
You’ve lost for ever the bliss of heaven
With Firdausi, the most distinguished poet
Who with his rapturous and luscious poesy
Delighted the whole of the Afghan nation;
Now roam as a living corse for ever.                                         4-33

Poets there are hundreds of epics beautiful,
And scholars profound that display their scholarship;
But can there be sweetness as in Firdausi’s poesy?
Will there be a fool that spurns a diamond?                                4-35

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