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When I’m walking, 

I am an automobile! 


To mark and measure 

The pace and pressure 

Of my gaze and gait, 

My toes and heels. 

As free as a 

Thoreau walking 

To Walden Pond 

From his log cabin. 

Yet when I'm walking, 

I’m at the mercy 

Of motors and vectors, 

Of gazes quick to judge 

A straying of the hem, 

A splaying of the feet, 

A raking of the dust... 

As unfree as a Mrs Thoreau 

Amid a crowd 

Of Concord carriages.

Ananya Dutta Gupta teaches at Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. She has articles, translations, essays and travelogues to her credit. Her poetry responds to her immediate human milieu and non-human environs with a combination of curiosity, intuitiveness and criticality. She has published with Muse India, Gulmohur Quarterly, Indian Periodical, Indian Ruminations, Teesta Review, RoughKhata, and Cafe Dissensus. A poem of hers – ‘Howrah Junction’ – was one among twenty internationally selected entries in Global Conversations published by CRASSH, Cambridge (2021). Ananya’s debut collection, For Tomorrow the Birds Might Still Sing (Santiniketan: Birutjatio, 2021) is in circulation now.

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