Recently, a friend called to ask why I am not promoting the translations book I published last month. What’s the point, I asked. It’s not that my Facebook friends are ever going to buy the book; it’s poetry, plus translations. In fact, I am too old school to really trust digital marketing. The real reason, however, why I am not going out with the book is because I was going through a serious bout of translator’s dilemma. I have the author’s approval, yet I was not certain if I did the right thing. There was always this nagging suspicion, perhaps there were other ways of doing it; perhaps someone else could have done it better. Today, as two of Sananta Tanty’s poems appear in the Asymptote Journal, I am somewhat relieved, somewhat less diffident. If one of the world’s best translations magazines sees merit in the poems, they couldn’t be all that bad.
The credit goes to Aditi Machado for her enthusiasm for Sananta Tanty’s work.
A big shout out to Kamal Kumar Tanti for typing out the Assamese texts in a word document and to Shalim M Hussain for arranging the recording of the poet’s recitation.
Do read, or listen.