Monday, March 02, 2009

I measure every grief I meet

I measure every grief I meet
(A Tribute to Emily Dickinson)

लम्बा नाटा, भारी हल्का
खुद नाप लिये मैं चलता हूँ
अपने दुख का नाप बना कर
औरों के दुख से मिलता हूँ ।

इनकी ये कल शाम की चोट -
या बड़ा पुराना घाव रिसा है ?
मेरा मुझको कुछ याद नहीं
हाँ दर्द बड़ा ये करता है

रोज़ जीने से क्या इनके
दिल का दर्द बढ़ता है ?
क्या ये बेबस होतें हैं जब -
मरने का जी करता है ?

बूढ़े दुख के होठों पर पर
कभी खुशी हँसती भी है -
जैसे तेल की याद में बाती
बुझती बुझती जलती सी है ।

ये बूढ़ा दुख जब और जीयेगा
क्या और बढ़ेगा, और हरेगा ?
या समय का दिल कुछ पिघलेगा, वो
क्या मरहम का काम करेगा ?

या बूढ़े दुख को बूढ़े दिल
तब तक अपना मान चुकेंगे ?
एक प्रेम ने मर कर दुख जन्मा था
क्या तब ये दुख को प्रेम करेंगे ?

या सोचेंगे मर कर दर्द से
निजात मिलेगी, चैन मिलेगा
पर दर्द तो अन्दर सीप गया है -
ये दर्द ना मौत के साथ मरेगा ।

एक प्रेम में पाया होता है
एक मोल लिया दुख होता है
बस मुठ्ठी में आने को हो जग
और हाथ कटे दुख होता है

इतना दुख को पढ़ता हूँ पर
जाने मेरा दुख कैसा दिखता है
बस समझो मेरे गलगोथा में
कुछ अकेलापन कम लगता है

जब इतने सलीब बंधे हुए हैं
औरों ने कंधो पर ढोए भी हैं -
दुख - लम्बे नाटे, भारी हल्के
शायद कुछ मेरे जैसे भी हैं ।

[गलगोथा* Golgotha is the place where Jesus was crucified.]

Above is an attempted Hindi translation of the infinitely superior original poem, I measure every grief I meet, by Emily Dickinson. I am surprised that we had none of her poems in our school curriculum. She is a great poetess and invariably touches the heart. In my list of favorite poems, her authored-by count will at least be thrice the second place candidates [Robert Frost and Rudyard Kipling]. And for someone who touches your heart with words like she does, her form is superb too. For example, during this translation, I just could not maintain the flow of thoughts as she had in her original. It's just ... too perfect.

I want to paste the original here, but versions on the web do not agree about the real text [yes, including the authoritative ones]. It is really surprising because the nuances are quite different based on which version you read. For example, this whole stanza is missing from most of on-line citations including Bartleby.

I note that Some – gone patient long –
At length, renew their smile –
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil –

Also, look at these differences in words:

Bartleby's version:
.. To note the fashions of the cross,
Of those that stand alone, .. version:
.. To note the fashions – of the Cross –
And how they're mostly worn – ..

Bartleby's version:
.. Or would they go on aching still
Through centuries above, .. version:
.. Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve – ..

Bartleby's version:
.. And whether, could they choose between,
They would not rather die
.. version:
.. And whether – could They choose between –
It would not be – to die –

And there are more. It seems blasphemous, yet both are authoritative sources. For my translation, I used version, as it had the extra stanza which I wanted to include in my translation.

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