The Labyrinthine

November 27, 2010

Sukumar Ray was a Bengali humorous poet, story writer and playwright. As perhaps the most famous Indian practitioner of literary nonsense, he is often compared to Lewis Carroll.”

The King of Bombaria
In the land of Bombaria
The customs are peculiar.
The king, for instance, advocates
Gilded frames for chocolates.
The queen, who seldom goes to bed
Straps a pillow round her head.
The courtiers- or so I’m told-
Turn cartwheels when they have a cold:

… The King’s old aunt- an autocrat-
Hits pumpkins with her cricket bat
While Uncle loves to dance Mazurkas
Wearing garlands strung with hookaha.
All of this, though mighty queer,
Is natural in Bombaria.

Translated by Satyajit Ray
The Bengali version is “Bombagarer Raja”.

[sublimethings]

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