Prisoner’s Uniform

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About Gopal

Gopal Lahiri is a bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer and translator with 29 books published, including eight solo/jointly edited books. His poetry is also published across various anthologies as well as in eminent journals of India and abroad. His poems are translated in 16 languages.

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He has been nominated for Pushcart Prize for poetry in 2021. He is the recipient of the Poet of the Year Award in Destiny Poets, UK, 2016, Setu Excellence Award, 2020, Pittsburgh, US and Indology Life-Time Achievement award, West Bengal, India. His latest collection of poems ‘Alleys are Filled with Future Alphabets.’ has received wide acclaim. and recently he has received First Jayanta Mahapatra National Award, 2024 for his contribution in Indian English Writing.

Gopal’s Book

Crossing The Shoreline

Prisoner’s Uniform

I do not ask you even for a string, for a chord,
—the sky is now in prisoner’s uniform.

For caresses you turn to the rain
to its grapey touch on the rim of the glass.

You fall into a dream, the music beginning to roll
in low and then in high notes.

From this fortified apartment
I watch stern faces darkening with the clouds,
ancestors from the jumper’s threads.

I cling to the old memories
no name, no strand, no grave
and add to that no sound.

The unknown galaxies are blooming on the balcony
and stitching stars, planets and milky ways.

How slow life seems to me in its weary flow
while underneath my footprints paint a new oblong
to my unspoken words, then through, then elsewhere.


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