Jayant: The Subtle Craftsman


M.S. Sriram calls Jayant Kaikini one of the evergreen poets in Kannada for being youthful in his work and in conduct. Ever since I started reading poetry I have been reading Jayant. In my friends circle I was notorious as Jayant’s advertiser. I am fond of his poems, his short stories and his prose. Once when he was the editor of Bhavana he asked me to send my poems for publication. I dithered. And I said to him, when I am able to write half as good a poem as his Lipi (Script) I would confidently send him my poems.Well, leave me out, and just read this terrific poem.  

From: http://india.poetryinternationalweb.org/ kaikini.jpg


Jayant Kaikini                                                           

Translation: Jayant Kodkani

When did the ant develop a taste for the news?

Or did it always nurse it within?

Crawling along the newspaper spread

on the floor, it devours each letter

of news, first the big headlines of national mourning

later the medium-sized bride-burning bit

and those who slit each other’s throats

for a dime, and then the small fonts

of suicide, missing persons etc . . .

Thus polishing off each item,

the ant has left. 

The paper’s blank now

like the pale cheeks of a pregnant woman

who died for want of blood Roll it up now and see

the stars at the end of the tube

or place it to your ear and hear

somebody digging a trench somewhere faraway 

Place it between your lips

and play the flute

or if you so wish, abandon it in the bamboo forest nearby 

Now the only fear is,

where is the ant

and where is the trail of blood at its feet?

9 responses »

  1. I read his Bogaseyalli Male. I can say I am still reading. Coz I dont wanna finish it and have a feeling that I read it and its over. So reading as slowly aspossible and savouring it. Jayant is amazing.

  2. Welcome to Kaikini fanclub, Adarsh, and I agree with you that he is such a writer. One of my favourite of his stories is Kannigondu kshitija (A horizon for each eye) which I have read many times. He is amazing, you are right.
    Thanx for the visit and the comment. Do come again.

  3. I am reading his book ” Bogaseyalli maLe” Lovely book….it has made my reading a wonderful experiance.

  4. Hello Everybody…

    I’m reading his book bogaseyalli male.. it is really heart touching.. can any body give his contact number or adress or e-mail id… i’m eager to meet him..

  5. Pingback: ‘Anisuthide yaako, means are as vital as the end’ « churumuri

  6. Jayanth is very close to our hearts…….
    “kannadi illadha oorinalli……..” from toofan mail is my favourite. Does it reflect me….. 🙂 ??????????

    Yeah ! also i spotted use of the phrase “haage summane..” in “dagadu parabana aswamedha” , i declared it to my friends as though i made a new discovery in quantum computing….!

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