The Sea: A Long Poem by Rati Saxena


Rati Saxena – Poet/ Translator/ Editor (kritya) / Director Poetry festivals -kritya and Vedic scholar.
She has 5 collections of poetry in Hindi and two in English ( Translated by poet) and one each in to Malayalam, Italian, Estonian, and Vietnamese and English translated by other poets. Her poems have been translated in other international languages like Chinese, Albanian , Spanish, Uzbek, Indonesian , Spanish, German etc.  She has a travelogue in Hindi “Cheenti ke par”, a Memoir in English“ Every thing is past tense “, and a criticism on the work of famous Malayalam Poet Balamaniyamma’s work. Her study on the Atharvaveda has been published as “The Seeds of the Mind- a fresh approach to the study of Atharvaveda” under the fellowship of the Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts. She has translated about 12 Malayalam works, both prose and poetry, into Hindi and two poetry books of Norwegian poets , one each from Welsh, Vietnamese. She has a number of articles published regarding Indology in a number of journals. She has been invited for poetry reading in more than 22 prestigious poetry festivals around the world, among some are very popular e.g.,The Struga Poetry Evening (Macedonia)( 2010) the prestigious poetry festival in Medellin -Colombia (2011 and 2014),, 10th Edition of “ Ritratti di Poesia” Feb 2016 and China’s Moon Festival and Shanghai book fair. She is the only Indian participant in some imp poetry festivals like Iran’s Fajr Poetry Festival, Iran (2014) , International Istanbul Poetry Festival (IIPF) Turkey (2014), 4th international Eskisehir Poetry Festival Turkey (2014). And a Special poetry reading in A Caruna , Spain ( 2015), Poetry reading at Foundation Vicente Risco, at Allariz ( Spain). She has also been invited to some American Universities like Mary Mount University in Los Angeles and University of Seattle ( USA) to talk on Vedic poetry and recite her own poetry. She is one of foundermember, and member of coordinate committee Of the World Poetry Movement. Her poem was poem been chosen in popular book of china “110 modern poems of the world”) 2015, ” Her poem was also part of space mission by Jaxa, Japan, along with 24 other poems. In 2002 . She was also artist in Former Artist-in-residence at Ebenboeckhaus Munichand Artist-in-residence at Künstlerhaus Villa Waldberta.
Her Awards- Fellowship by Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts in 2004-5,Sahitya Akademi Award for Translation 2000, Sate Bank of Travancore Award for poetry 2001, Naji Naaman’s Literary Prizes ( International) for 2016.




The sea is quite different
from the sky,
different, too, the clouds
from one another,
but when, as she stands
on the shore,
he takes her into his wavy arms,
wets the hair
strewn across her face,
fondles her thighs,
lays his head at her feet
and looks up at her,
where, then, is the difference
between him
and a starved lover?


Every evening
the sea gathers
the sacred wood of clouds,
strikes the holy fire of the sun,
and sets out an offering of waves
to conjure its black magic,
every evening the darkness comes
from that magic, spreads
the news of a conspiracy,
and from that conspiracy
this world has grown.


As evening withers
a star sprouts
on the sea,
with a finger at his lips
he bids everyone quiet,
says Be careful,
you’re not the only one
we’re each alone
in our own sea.


I saw him
and the sea that evening,
he was bobbing
in the water, the sea
flowing over him.

He saw me
and the sea together,
the sun sinking
into the water,
and me sinking with him,

each of us
into the other.


In the quiet black
of night, the earth grows
a ray of light,

what’s unusual
is how the sky hangs
lamps of light
each night,
looking at the sea
he stays behind,
blows the line of light
into an oven
burning across the sea.


Somebody says
It’s an open sky,
as an opened fist.

Somebody says
It’s a deep sea,
as the heart of man.

When I saw it
it was an empty canvas
a single scratch.


It’s the sea, smell
of bodies,
of floating light,
the smell making nostrils
flutter like fish
through water.

The smell enters
every pore
like pieces of shell
and the body changes
into a sea of smells.


Keeping innumerable colors
close to his chest
like floating lights
and laughing rocks,
how lonely the sea is
who knows?

Even the sea doesn’t know
his reverberations,
the waves laying their heads
on the shore, bursting bubbles
whisper into ears
how lonely the sea is
who knows?


The sea is getting wet
in the rain
like a desert child,

the sea is getting wet
with its own tears
like a young woman
sitting on an island,

the sea is getting wet
with a shower of love:
his sobbing pain
at being separated
from his beloved,

the sea is getting wet
in the first rain
after summer.


The smell of the sea
is different
from the soil
wet with rain,

has no relation
to the smell of flowers,
doesn’t know
the sharp taste
of passion.

The smell of the sea
doesn’t enter
through nostrils
but through every pore,
touching gently,

The smell of the sea
speaks the story
of fishermen’s sweat,
the play of sea life,
the legends
of all the ships.


6 thoughts on “The Sea: A Long Poem by Rati Saxena”

  1. Wonderful poem. Makes one come back to it again and again. Congrats. The pictures are apt and add to its effect.

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