"The Evening Comes" by Sangram Jena

translated by Bibhu Padhi (October 2014)

The evening comes.

Your memory returns

like the day’s last tiredness.

So many wishes, such strong

wish not to wish at all,

so many givings, so many

feelings of not to receive;

all memories in a hazy

darkness, inside a fog.


It is shadowy everywhere,

From the threshold of worship

To the tree-sequestered

Platform, river-bank,

mangroves, the fields

under which the crops

are stored, mature.

The gardens, even

On the level-floor

In the house’s centre.


The dew-soaked leaves look

like your half-wet saree,

the hills on the farther side

of the fog are the loosening

lines of your body. It is

not quite difficult to know

the fog-enclosed hills,

the body, the wishes, the soul.

On returning home, again I find


those familiar faces, voices,

waitings, routine gods.

Though on my eyes there is

a deep brush of dusk—

of an unseen wish and hope,

waiting, and your unending

pretension of not having

anything at all.





Sangram Jena (b.1952) has published more than thirty books, including six collections of poetry and ten books of translation. He has translated classics of world poetry into Oriya and works of many contemporary Oriya poets into English. He has won the Sahitya Akademi Award for translation. He edits two literary magazines–Nishant and MargAsia.

Bibhu Padhi’s eighth and ninth books of poetry, Magic Ritual and Brief Seasons: 60 Love Songs, appeared almost back to back earlier this year. He lives with his family in Bhubaneswar, India.


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