(On 13 March 2015, the birth centenary of revolutionary poet and martyred CPI(ML) leader Saroj Dutt concluded. In tribute, we carry a translation of one of his best known poems.)
Anguish of a Revolutionary Poet
My poems will never narrate my story,
My lament will not echo in any a casual line,
My poetry does not trade woes of the feeble,
Nor is it lewd fetish of the impotent mind.
Isn’t a narcissist’s decree of universal love,
Or ‘timid offerings’ of the frail at power’s shrine.
Towards a people’s sky, those that pull
The fire-chariot of humankind are comrades of mine.
I can’t be traced in my poem; there my limits
Blend into infinity of the myriad -
With flood-waters from without I have unbounded
The stagnant swamp sluggished by poison-mud.
My pain will not linger like a spirit in the graveyard,
I am a reckless droplet, ocean’s fervour in my heart.
-- Translation: Kasturi