The kind you’re born with, the kind you choose, the kind that teach Catholic school
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Sy asked me to introduce these poems by talking about my guru, but I don’t like talking about my guru, Shrii Shrii Anandamurti. I already wrote a whole book about traveling to him last year. Born Too Young, it’s called — about how we’re all born too soon, too stupid. I’m thirty-five, old enough to be in the White House, and I’m still so thick you could use me for a pasta machine.
“I enjoy writing translations — it’s like making poems I’d never write otherwise,” someone at Violet’s poetry reading said last night.
And providentially, I too feel that in these translations I’m writing sweet, sweeter than a New Yorker can commonly be.
My guru, who founded the Ananda Marga Society, gives out little milk sugar pellets, or rather others bring them and he blesses them.
Sometimes it’s too sweet, Ananda Marga, but there’s also plenty of work to do. Ananda Marga’s role is to “serve the suffering humanity.”
He’s a Bengali — real name P.R. Sarkar. In 1981, he started writing these songs, “Prabhat Samgiita” (“Songs Of Dawn”). These aren’t true translations — they’re poems based on the songs. (Ten weeks in Calcutta taught me to count to two in Bengali. He has more than three thousand of these, I think.)
Why do they come out in the shape of popsicle sticks, I wonder?
Many of my poems are thin these days. I’m thin; maybe that contributes.
I hate to bore people. I know that’s part of it.
This way you can line them up like standing lamps in a showroom, and fit more on a page.
Or surround them with white light, like yogis are.
I see you.
jewel of mine.
enter my heart
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti