Poem of the Week

Who’s playing by Amarjit Chandan

for Renata Fontenla

who’s playing
the symphony of quivering shadows

the water drips drop by drop
leaves imprints on stones

the sun rises
and small pieces of darkness are
spread on the white wall of your house
shadows

of the olive tree
of the lamp post
and
of the bird perching on it

the white wall
soaks the shadows
drop by drop
leaf by leaf

from the crevices of the wall
little plants
little shadows sprout

to reach the roots of the tree
the lamp post
the bird
the sun has come to your house

the door is open
but
the house is empty

the sun stands on your threshold in silence

‘Who’s playing’, copyright © Amarjit Chandan, 2010, is taken from Sonata for Four Hands by Amarjit Chandan, a bilingual edition edited & introduced by Stephen Watts, with a foreword by John Berger, and translated by the author with Stephen Watts, Julia Casterton, Shashi Joshi, Amin Mughal, Ajmer Rode and John Welch.

You can also read this poem in the original Punjabi: visit this page. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to see the document.)

Find out more at the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre.


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