Rati Saxena


Copyright: Enrique Moya






The Sea




The sea is quite different

from the sky,

different, too, the clouds

from one another,

but when, as she stands

on the shore,

he takes her into his wavy arms,

wets the hair

strewn across her face,

fondles her thighs,

lays his head at her feet

and looks up at her,

where, then, is the difference

between him

and a starved lover?




Every evening

the sea gathers

the sacred wood of clouds,

strikes the holy fire of the sun,

and sets out an offering of waves

to conjure its black magic,

every evening the darkness comes

from that magic, spreads

the news of a conspiracy,

and from that conspiracy

this world has grown.




As evening withers

a star sprouts

on the sea,

with a finger at his lips

he bids everyone quiet,

says Be careful,

you’re not the only one


we’re each alone

in our own sea.




I saw him

and the sea that evening,

he was bobbing

in the water, the sea

flowing over him.


He saw me

and the sea together,

the sun sinking

into the water,

and me sinking with him,


each of us


into the other.




In the quiet black

of night, the earth grows

a ray of light,


what’s unusual

is how the sky hangs

lamps of light

each night,

looking at the sea

he stays behind,

blows the line of light

into an oven

burning across the sea.




Somebody says

It’s an open sky,


as an opened fist.


Somebody says

It’s a deep sea,


as the heart of man.


When I saw it

it was an empty canvas


a single scratch.




It’s the sea, smell

of bodies,

of floating light,

the smell making nostrils

flutter like fish


through water.


The smell enters

every pore

like pieces of shell

and the body changes

into a sea of smells.




Keeping innumerable colors

close to his chest

like floating lights

and laughing rocks,

how lonely the sea is

who knows?


Even the sea doesn’t know

his reverberations,

the waves laying their heads

on the shore, bursting bubbles

whisper into ears

how lonely the sea is

who knows?




The sea is getting wet

in the rain


like a desert child,


the sea is getting wet

with its own tears


like a young woman

sitting on an island,


the sea is getting wet

with a shower of love:

his sobbing pain

at being separated

from his beloved,


the sea is getting wet

in the first rain

after summer.




The smell of the sea

is different

from the soil

wet with rain,

has no relation

to the smell of flowers,

doesn’t know

the sharp taste

of passion.


The smell of the sea

doesn’t enter

through nostrils

but through every pore,

touching gently,



The smell of the sea

speaks the story

of fishermen’s sweat,

the play of sea life,

the legends

of all the ships.



Translated by Seth Michelson















Rati Saxena – Poet/ Translator/ Editor (kritya) / Director Poetry festivals -kritya and Vedic scholar. She has 5 collections of poetry in Hindi and  two in English ( Translated by poet)  and one each in  to Malayalam, Italian, Estonian, and Vietnamese, Spanish and English  translated by  other poets.  Her poems have been translated in other international languages like Chinese, Albanian, Spanish, Uzbek, Indonesian, Spanish, German etc. She has a travelogue in Hindi “Cheenti ke par”, a Memoir in English“ Everything is past tense “, and a criticism on the work of  famous Malayalam Poet Balamaniyamma’s work. Her study on the Atharvaveda has been published as “The Seeds of the Mind- a fresh approach to the study of Atharvaveda” under the fellowship of the Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts. She has translated about 12 Malayalam works, both prose and poetry, into Hindi and two poetry books of Norwegian poets, one each from Welsh, Vietnamese. She has a number of articles published regarding Indology in a number of journals. She has been invited for poetry reading in more than 24 prestigious poetry festivals around the world, among some are very popular e.g.,The Struga Poetry Evening (Macedonia)( 2010) the prestigious poetry festival in Medellin -Colombia (2011 and 2014),, 10th Edition of “ Ritratti di Poesia” Feb 2016 and China’s Moon Festival and Shanghai book fair. She is the only Indian participant in some imp poetry festivals like Iran’s Fajr Poetry Festival, Iran (2014) ,  International Istanbul Poetry Festival (IIPF) Turkey (2014), 4th international Eskisehir  Poetry Festival Turkey (2014). And a Special poetry reading in A Caruna , Spain ( 2015), Poetry reading at Foundation Vicente Risco, at Allariz ( Spain).

She was invited to 47 years old poetry festival Smederevoۥs poet autumn (2017)to talk about the Kritya international poetry festival.


She has also been invited to some American Universities like Mary Mount University in Los Angeles and University of Seattle (USA) to talk on Vedic poetry and recite her own poetry. She was also invited in University Grand Rapid (2015) to talk about poetry and read poetry) She is one of founder member, and member of coordinate committee Of the World Poetry Movement. Her poem was poem been chosen in popular book of china “110 modern poems of the world”) 2015,” Her poem was also part of space mission by Jaxa, Japan, along with 24 other poems. In 2002. She was also artist in Former Artist-in-residence at Ebenboeckhaus Munichand Artist-in-residence at Künstlerhaus Villa Waldberta.

Her Awards- Fellowship by Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts in 2004-5,Sahitya Akademi Award for Translation 2000, Sate Bank of Travancore Award for poetry 2001, Naji Naaman’s Literary Prizes ( International)  for 2016. And the The 7th DJS Translation Prize.








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