The Poet’s Fate


This was the second poem ('The Washerman' is the other) that the poet himself, Mohan Rana, helped us translate when he did us the great honour of coming along to our workshop.

'The Washerman' needed a lot of finessing but, after that, this next poem came out very cleanly and quickly, perhaps because we were beginning to grasp the measure of the poet's voice.

The title took some discussion. At one point we went for 'To Be a Poet' and then went for 'The Poet's Fate' when we reached that line in the poem (the same as the title in Hindi), ditching the Hamlet-feel of our first attempt.

It was a real pleasure to have Mohan with us, and we are very grateful to him - and to his translator, Lucy Rosenstein - for giving us this unique insight into his poetry and for enduring our probing questions with such grace and patience.