Book Reviews : Irish Kathmandu

Book: Kathmandu

(Poems Selected and New)

Poet: Cathal O Searcaigh

Translated (into Nepali) by Yuyutsu RD Sharma

Publisher: Nirala


Price: Rs 250 (Indian)

Pages: 71

Kathmandu :

Kathmandu is an anthology of poems by Cathal Ó Searcaigh, an Irish poet. Yuyutsu RD Sharma, a prominent Nepali litterateur, has translated the poems into Nepali. The poems, though written originally in Irish, have more Nepaliness than Irish, as they portray the images of Himalayan dusk and dawn.

It seems like as if Ó Searcaigh was born here and lives in Nepal. He has experienced the trauma that Nepalis have been experiencing since the last one decade. Poem like Exile’s return is a clear picture of a Nepali village boy who wants to return his home after a decade-long insurgency.

As the poet himself claims in the book, “Kathmandu is here to change you, not for you to change it”, Kathmandu has completely changed him. Going through the book, a reader can find alarming similarities between Ó Searcaigh and Bhupi Sherchan. Ó Searcaigh even ‘strolls around the streets, where Bhupi once walked in desire for words’.

And Ó Searcaigh succeeds in bringing out the magical aura of Kathmandu through his lively words. When he claims that his poems are devotional, prayerful celebrations of place, tongue and tradition, Ó Searcaigh is not lying. A reader often encounters sadhus, gods and demons in his poems.

As Sharma writes in introduction, Ó Searcaigh has succeeded in planting friendships on the banks of Himalayan rivers. Sharma’s hard labour in bringing out this bilingual edition is appreciable.