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Bhupi Sherchan: Nepal's Revered Poet
'A humble poet, a great ambassador of humanity'
Bhuwan Thapaliya (Bhuwan)     Print Article 
Published 2006-02-14 11:19 (KST)   

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However much we raise ourselves up,
However much we run here and there,
However loud we roar,
However, deep within, we are hollow.
Our roar carries no more weight than
the hiss of an ember thrown into water.

"We," by Bhupi Sherchan
Some are born poet, some acquire poetic skills later, while others have poetry thrust upon them. The late Bhupi Sherchan, who earned widespread praise in the Nepalese literary scene, probably belongs to the last category. Ever since he arrived on the literary scene, Bhupi has been looked upon as the one who was going to lead Nepal's literary fortunes to the next level. And he has done just that.

He may have had all the limitations of his fellow poets, but yet he led himself beyond the frontiers of the narrow borders with his immortal poetry. That in itself is a testimony to his poetic excellence. Bhupi Sherchan was the most successful poet to popularize free verse after Gopal Prasad Rimal. He analyzed human life and wrote in the language of the common masses with beauty, and was successful in showing the way for the new generation through his magnificent poems.

Bhupi Sherchan
©2006 Nepalhomepage.com
Every great poet has the capacity to author a stunning literary turnaround. But the circumstances in which Bhupi produced the most important poetry of his career were at once trying and peculiar in Nepalese literature. For a nation that had plumed to such a literary low to foster one of its own to go on and compete with the greats of world literature was a turnaround that could have been triggered only by a stroke of genius.

Bhupi was a humble poet, a great ambassador of humanity, and a true nationalist. He loved his country and countrymen above all else. His lofty Himalayan nationalism can be seen in his classic poem "Hami" ("Us"), where he claimed that we Nepalese are brave, but foolish and because we are brave, we are foolish.

Furthermore, his intense love for the nation and goodwill can be clearly seen in his odes to the martyrs of Nepal. He will be forever remembered for these famous works: "Ghumne Mech Mathi Andho Manche," "Sahid Ko Samjhana," "Main Batti Ko Sikha," "Ghantaghar," "Hami," etc.

"Ghumne Mechmathi Andho Manchhe," or "Blind Man on the Revolving Chair," which won Sajha Prize (highest literary prize in Nepal), is a masterpiece and has earned praise from readers worldwide. A milestone in Nepali literature, the work has already undergone its 10th edition, and the sales are picking up as ever.

Blind Man On a Revolving Chair
By Bhupi Sherchan

All day
like dry bamboo
dozing on its own hollowness,
all day
like a sick dove
pecking its own breast
scratching sores;
all day
alone like a pine stand
sobbing with unexpressed pain
all day
like a flat mushroom
far from the vast display of earth and sky
planting his legs in a small place,
covering himself with a tiny umbrella;
in the evening
when Nepal shrinking into Kathmandu
Kathmandu cast aside on New Road
and New Road -- trampled
beneath the feet of many people,
into stalls shops and vendors of news tea and betel;
rumors dressed up in a motley array
walk back and forth,
clucking like a hen that has laid an egg
newspapers shuffle by
and darkness here and there
settles on the footpath
by the glare of the cars
A beehive collapses in my brain
and terrified of drone and sting
I rise
like the souls on Judgment Day
and lost without "Lethe" of oblivion
I dive into a glass of wine
and forget the days that brought me here
my previous incarnation and death
In this way always
the sun rises from a tea kettle
and always in an emptied glass of wine
the sun sets
The earth on which I sit is revolving--as usual
I alone am not acquainted with
the changes all around,
a stranger to the passing scenes,
the attractions,
like a blind man at a fair
strapped down in a revolving chair.
Bhuwan Thapaliya is a Nepali poet.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Bhuwan Thapaliya

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