Home »  Magazine »  Books »  A Coward’s Song

A Coward’s Song

The title poem of Perumal Murugan’s new book of 200 poems, Oru Kozhaiyin Paadalkal

A Coward’s Song
outlookindia.com
2016-08-31T15:15:29+0530

Misery befalls no one
because of a coward
Riots break out nowhere
because of a coward
Nothing gets destroyed
because of a coward

A coward
does not draw his sword
or aim it at a tree
to check its sharpness
Why, a coward has no sword
to begin with

A coward
causes no one to feel fear

A coward
fears darkness
Songs come forth from him

Nature welcomes
a coward
He doesn’t pinch away a leaf
or pluck a flower

Nature embraces
a coward
A mother gathers a terrified child 
and suckles it

Nature garlands
a coward
For he steps out only 
to feed himself
He stays in and
keeps out of trouble

A coward 
also finds it hard 
to stay confined
He keeps cleaning up
nooks and corners

You won’t find a coward
in a playground
He never rouses crowds
into hateful nationalist frenzy

A coward 
joins no political party,
abides by no ideology,
and is loyal to no leader

A coward
cannot prepare a welcome flyer 
he cannot pour milk over big banners
he simply cannot whistle, prance about,
and go out in processions

A coward
steals from no one
He doesn’t stop those
who come to take away his things

A coward
does not attempt to rape anyone
He is also unable to look in stealth
at anyone’s body

A coward
never turns into a murderer
However
he thinks about suicide
And does it, too

— Perumal Murugan


(This is the title poem of Perumal Murugan’s new book of 200 poems, Oru Kozhaiyin Paadalkal, translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan. We offer this also as a tribute to the Madras High Court, which “resurrected” the dead writer and upheld freedom of expression.)

READ MORE IN:

Post a Comment


You are not logged in, To comment please / Register
or use
Next Story : They Saw It On TV
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store
THE LATEST ISSUE
CLICK IMAGE FOR CONTENTS
Advertisement

OUTLOOK TOPICS :

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

or just type initial letters