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Black Sun

October 22nd, 2012 by naren bedide

Black black Sun

Blackish Sun

Blackness blackness Sun

The Sun of the winning path


          The Sun of charms

          The beautiful Sun

          The beautiful Sun

          The Sun of the leaf sandals


The Sun of the sowing season

The Sun of the dark clouds

The Sun of rain drops

The little Sun

The Sun singing lullabies

In the eyes of the corn


          The Sun on the food basket slung from the beam

          The Sun in the clay pot

          The Sun of beef curry

          The Sun of cold food


The Sun who dances

In the thatched hut


          The Sun of the ear of corn

          The toddy tapping Sun

          The matangi1 Sun

          The gosangi1 Sun


The Sun who smiles in the cockleshell mirror

The Sun who dances wearing snail-shell anklets


          The Sun of charms

          The beautiful Sun

          The beautiful Sun

          The untouchable Sun


The Sun who was burnt to ashes alive

The Sun who rose from the ashes blazing

The Sun who bled on the fields of Karamchedu

The Sun who learns to walk on the path of blood

The Sun in the gunny sack on the waves of the Tungabhadra2


          The Sun who befriends

          Swarnamma3of the sweat drops

          The Sun who gives his heart

          To the crescent moon Yesanna3


The Sun of the flaming spark in Alisamma'svows

The Sun of righteous sharpness

In Anil Babu's5 eyes

The Sun of the army of ants ithe Sikkolu6 hills

The Sun who swims against the flood of the Godaari7

Shambhuka's decapitated head like Sun

The Sun of Ekalavya's chopped thumb

The handsome Sun with the index finger


The Sun of twilight

The moon like Sun

The Sun of the blue flag

The Sun of black gemstones


          The brave Sun

          The Sun of daggers

          The Sun of tears

          The Sun of timeless wisdom


The Sun who has bloomed

On the righteous path of Dhamma

The brave Sun

The Sun of the winning path


My translation of the Telugu poem 'nallaaTi suuriiDu' by K. G. Satyamurthy ('Sivasagar'); from his collection of poetry 'Sivasagar kavitvam'.

The poet says this poem is a continuation of his efforts to define 'daLita soundarya Sastramu' or Dalit aesthetics.

[1] matangi and gosangi: a reference to the Madigas; gosangi also refers to cobblers, ascriptive occupation of the Madigas. 

[2] Tungabhadra: a reference to the Tungabhadra canal of the Krishna irrigation system which supplies water to farms in parts of Guntur district. Here, the poet talks about the mutilated bodies of the Dalits killed in the Chunduru massacre (1991) which were wrapped in gunny sacks and thrown into the Tungabhadra canal.  

[3] Swarnamma and Yesanna: some common names among Dalits in Coastal Andhra. The poet could also be referring to the Dalits' role in labour (Swarnamma is derived from 'swarNamu' which means gold or wealth or its production, in general); yEsanna refers to Jesus Christ, or spiritual liberation.

[4] Alisamma: was a key witness in the Karamchedu massacre (1985) as her own son Duddu Vandanam was also killed in the massacre. The courageous woman had braved many threats and inducements to speak about the killings in many public meetings and was ultimately also murdered, two years after Karamchedu.

[5] Anil Babu: Kommerla Anil Kumar was a witness in the Chunduru massacre. Balagopal, the human rights activist, had written: Anil Kumar was 'an articulate young dalit who survived the massacre of August 6 to give a graphic account of the incident but was shot dead by the police on September 10 in the course of an attempt by the latter to remove a hunger strike camp set up by the daiits at Chundur.'

[6] Sikkolu hills: Srikakulam; this is a reference to the one of the earliest Naxal movements.

[7]: Godaari: The river Godavari.  


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