Mother

by Kamalakanta

English version by Rachel Fell McDermott
Original Language Bengali

Mother,
You're always finding ways to amuse Yourself.

Syama, You stream of nectar,
through Your deluding power
You forge a horrible face
and adorn Yourself with a necklace of skulls.
The earth quakes under Your leaps and bounds.
You are frightful
     with that sword in Your hand.
At other times
You take a flirtatious pose,
and then, Mother,
even the God of Love is undone!

Your form is inconceivable and undecaying.
Narayani, Tripura, Tara --
You are beyond the three qualities
     yet composed of them.
You are terrifying,
You are black,
You are beautiful.

Thus assuming various forms,
You fulfill wishes of Your worshipers.
Sometimes You even dance
     Brahman, Eternal One
in the lotus heart of Kamalakanta.

-- from Singing to the Goddess: Poems to Kali and Uma from Bengal, Translated by Rachel Fell McDermott

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Recommended Books: Kamalakanta

Singing to the Goddess: Poems to Kali and Uma from Bengal Kali: The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar





Mother