Possibly the most popular name in Assamese poetry, Hiren Bhattacharyya’s poetry brings up the lush imagery of nature; of paddy fields, of waves of green, of ripples in the air and of gushing rains. He had a long career as a writer and editor of many periodicals in which his poems were much awaited.
The Internet tells us that he added the word shosyoghran, a beautiful word for the smell of harvest, to the Assamese dictionary. Reading his beautiful words, even if translated, shows how apt this happening was.
October Landscape – Poem by Hiren Bhattacharyya
It’s over –
The orgiastic frenzy of a brutal sky.
In the restive fields now ripple
Wave after green wave.
The white of the kohua
Breaks the lull of an inky sky.
An autumn sky whispers –
There’s a season for every poem.
In every crease of descending light
With every emotion
Awakens a word
His imagery of nature is soothing in its invocation of colours and smells, and the emotions and associations with them. However, a poem that particularly touched us was one that talks of words in the hands of a young poet. Imagery of nature and farming intact, he fuses this beautifully with his love for words.
These my words,
(For the young poet)
In these my words that have caressed
The orchards of my dream
Is the grace of a life style,
The intimate warmth of time.
I have no inventions of my own.
I am like a farmer,
I roll words on my tongue;
To see how each one tastes;
Hold them in my palms to see how warm.
I know words are the lusty offsprings of man’s noble creation;
A mere poet am I
In these words that I have relayed
From other shoulders
Is man’s cruel experience,
And the maulings of history
( Translated from Assamese into English by Pradip Acharya)