Two Poems by S. Vijayalakshmi Translated from Tamil

Two poems by S. Vijayalakshmi, translated from Tamil by Thila Varghese.

Your owl-inhabited house

Laughing babies all over the wall
The moment you set your eyes on them
after waking up in the morning,
your heart would go into raptures,
with joy and glee
bubbling up like champagne.
Collecting baby posters
sold on the roadside
became your hobby.
Reaching home after a hard day’s work,
you would gaze at them again and again
and relieve yourself of the work fatigue.
While feeding your friend’s young child,
a budding smile would bloom across your lips.
Your circle of admirers,
who had previously extolled your beauty,
your complexion,
and your elegant way of dressing,
started to whisper in hushed tones.
The potency of medicines greatly reducing
your radiance and bright disposition,
to feed you who is deeply buried in loneliness
and to adjust your clothes,
your owl-inhabited house is searching
for an attendant.

The Tragic Drama of the Absurd

She selects the character roles
of an absurd drama
that had never ever been
rehearsed before.

To enact the roles, she presents
a few three-sided coins as rewards
in the hands of those who had never ever been
familiar with acting through practice.

The constraints imposed are laid out,
dismissing wishes and
demanding that they speak
only of pain.

She tells them to believe
that above all,
life has been made possible
only by love.

As the drama unfolds
with the characters buying into the proposition,
the entire theatre reverberates with
love’s pain.

About the author

A teacher by profession, S. Vijayalakshmi is actively engaged in the Tamil literary field, penning poetry and articles on literary and social issues. She has contributed poems and essays to several mainstream and alternate Tamil magazines, and has to her credit three published books of poetry and two collections of essays. An ardent feminist, Vijayalakshmi participates in literary and social forums that explore the place of women in society.

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