Spring in Jallianwala Bagh

We present this work in honor of the 75th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Subhadra Kumari Chauhan
1904 – 1948


Here are no nightingales, but crows crow loud
Dark, black moths make for hum of the beetles
The buds too in half-bloom, meet with thorns here
Those plants, those flowers, are dry or scorched

Fragrance-less pollen is rotting into oblivion
Ha! This lovely garden lies all drenched with blood
Come, dear spring, but come quietly
This is a mourning-place, so cause no commotion

Let the breeze blow, but only mild
So it blows away not, the sorrowful sighs
Nightingale may sing, but only a dirgeful tune
Buzzing beetles here be telling a tale so tough

Bring along flowers, but let hues be not too bright
The fragrance be mild, somewhat wet with dew
But do not carry them with a gifting intention
She just a few for the prayers in memory

Gentle boys have succumbed to bullets here
Bring and lay down here for them a few buds
Hearts full of hopes have also been pierced here
Dear families of ours, have departed from the nation

So make offerings of a few half blooms here
Recalling memories of them let the dew of tears flow
The elderly have died a suffering death of bullets
Let drop a few dry flowers over there

Do all of this, but do come quietly
This is a mourning-place, so cause no commotion

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