Friday, 7 July 2017

Who are You? - Gopalprasad Rimal

Here we are fond of our needs,
the vanity which hides them
is dear to us:
who are you to expose them?
Here we cling to our complexes,
fond of this weak lassitude,
we do not want to give it a name.
Who are you to name it?
And who are you to try to bring order?
We love this necklace of defeat,
soon to be our victory garland:
who are you to tell us
that we have not won,
that others will triumph?
We love our lethargy,
we love this predicament,
if we prefer to lie down,
who are you to raise us?
We do not need to reform ourselves,
we need no revolution,
that someone will lend us virtue,
the semblance of change:
this is our prayer.
Who are you to tell us
to do it now, ourselves?
We merely need some vessel
to fill with our need, our lazy malice,
although we have killed our kindness,
we claim that we have not.
So who are you to stand in our way
if we wish to prove our valour?

Gopalprasad Rimal (1918 - 1973) Nepal
Translated by Michael James Hurt
Source: Michael James Hurt, Himalayan Voices: An Introduction to Modern Nepali Literature University of California Press,  1991

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