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Translations - Empowering Women In Nineteenth Century India - Malabika Ray Choudhury's Blog

About Malabika Ray Choudhury
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Creative writing is my passion from a young age. After spending many years of teaching as a profession, finally I am devoting myself to my passions - Poetry, Singing, and Art. I also write short stories. 

 My early years were spent in India, and some later years in the Middle East. I am finally settled in Canada. Writing comes first, but I also learn, practise and enjoy music and art. I am an avid reader from my early childhood - read both epic and modern writers - from Iliad, Odyssey and Shakespeare to P.G. Wodehouse, to Elena Ferrante and Kazuo Ishiguro. The book which is always on my desk is Gitanjali, the collection of spiritual songs by Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel-laureate Poet Of India.


Poetry is an expression of thoughts, feelings and reflections. My life-experiences get expressed in my poems and short stories. I prefer expressing  my reflections and thoughts with creativity and depth - poetic flow and elegance are my goals. At present I am working on a memoir which covers my family's history and my life in three different countries with rich and varied cultures. 


I write equally in two languages -  in English, and also in Bengali, which is a regional language in the eastern part of India. I have translated a few famous Bengali poems (mainly by Rabindranath Tagore) in English and posted them on PoetrySoup. Hope to publish a collection of translations in future.

I create videos with my own poems and poems by famous writers, and also create audio-books from English and Bengali literature. I post them on You Tube, where I have created my own channel.

Channel URL for You Tube

I work on a few forms of rare art - eggshell decorations, copper-tooling and batik are some of them. 

Here are the links to my translations of Rabindranath Tagore's Poems: (Finally Saved - Part 1) (Fianlly Saved - Part 2) (Fianally Saved - Part 3) (Freed From My Shacles) (Deception - Part 1) (Deception - Part 2)

(Banalata Sen)
(Invention Of Shoes - Part 1)
(Invention Of Shoes - Part 2)
(Sleeping Beauty)
(An Ordinary Girl)
Below is a link to my YOU TUBE Channel. You may subscribe to this channel, where I post recitation of my poems, poems from Rabindranath Tagore, and also songs (rendered by myself) composed by Tagore. Please click on my picture at the bottom of the video - you will find my channel. Channel URL is at the bottom of this post.

Channel URL for You Tube



Translations - Empowering Women In Nineteenth Century India

Blog Posted:10/14/2021 3:32:00 PM


Dear Soupers,

Hope all of you are doing very well. On this gorgeous Fall afternoon, I truly wanted

to share one of my translations with you. It is my translation of a poem by I

ndian Nobel-laureate poet, Rabindranath Tagore. I have done a few translations of

his story-poems, and posted them on Soup before. I really intend to share this one -

which revolves around the status of women in India in the 19th century.

Translating these poems feels like I am paying tribute to our mothers,

grandmothers, and all the courageous women who paved the path for us. I grew

up reading Tagore's compositions every day, and singing his songs...still do that.  


Freed From My Shackles - Translation From Tagore

This is a poem (Original Title “Mukti” in Bengali, which means “Freedom”) by India's Nobel-laureate poet, Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941) - a poet, writer, playwright, composer, philosopher, social reformer and painter. He was a man far ahead of his times - most importantly, he gave a voice to women through his writings. We celebrate the legacy of his leading heroines, who were bold, talented, empowered, and they challenged the embedded patriarchal notions of 19th century India. Tagore strived to be a feminist in the truest sense, empowering his heroines to fight for an equal status against the 19th century patriarchy. 
Let the doctors say whatever they want,
Please keep the windows open,
The two windows in the back. Medication?
I am done with medication!
Bitter, strong - I had so many of them, Every minute, every day.
It is hard to live - that's the disease.
So many kinds of treatment, so many kinds of exercises -
Such a fuss for being a little careless.
This is good, this is not - listening to everybody's opinion
Lowering my eyes, covering my head
I spent twenty-two years at your home,
That's why relatives, neighbours as well, say -
she is like the Goddess Lakshmi, such a devoted wife,
She is so docile!
Arrived at your place when I was nine,
steered through the long hallway of this household,
dragging a life burdened by everybody's wishes,
at last I have reached the end of this path;
About my happiness, about my sorrow?
I didn't have time to think about myself!
This life is good, or not, or somewhat alright -
How would I realize, when would I consider the ups and downs?
At a stretch, one tiring melody,
The wheel of life was going on and on!
For twenty-years, I was tied to that wheel.
Like a blind in the mud. I didn't know who I was,
how immense this world is!
What are the meanings it is filled with.
I didn't hear what  messages from mankind play music on a veena of time.
The only thing I knew, eating after cooking, again cooking after eating -
For twenty-two years - I was tied to that wheel of routine!
Feels like - That routine, that wheel is going to stop now -
Let it stop. Why medication?
For twenty-years Spring had visited my yard in the woods,
The forgetful breeze from the south swayed my heart at land and on water; Announced " Open your door"!
I didn't even know when he came and left.
Perhaps swept my heart secretly; perhaps made me make mistakes in my chores;
perhaps made me feel a pang of sadness from another life;
in my sorrows and happinesses for no reason;
perhaps the heart used to wait for the sound of someone's footsteps on a magical Spring-day!
You used to come back from work,
in the evenings went to join the neighbourhood chess-club.
That's alright. Why today all these little sensations of mind are appearing in my heart?
This is the first time in twenty-two years Spring has visited my room.
By looking at the sky through my window,
this is what makes my heart rise with delight every minute-
I am a woman, I am magnificent!
The sleepless Moon has tuned with me in the celestial light -
The rise of the evening star wouldn't make sense without me,
Blooming of the flowers would lose its meaning unless I were there!
For twenty-two years I used to think -
I was imprisoned in your household forever.
Still I was not sad about it -
My days had passed with an idle sensation,
I would spend more days the same way if I lived longer.
All the relatives wherever they are praise me for being such a compliant wife;
As if that's my success in this life - The praises from many people,
when I stay only inside.
Today I don't know when my ties are gone.
The birth and the death are the same in the boundless vast body of water, To that bottomless place, with all the walls from my storage-rooms
Like little bubbles.
This is the first time in many years the wedding-music has started in expanse of the sky of the universe.
Let the twenty-two years remain in the dusty corner of my room.
I have been summoned to the nuptial-room in my death.
He is my beloved at my door desiring for love,
he is not only my Lord - He is not going to ignore me ever!
What he wants Is the hidden captivating charm in me,
He is standing in the meeting place of all planets and stars,
gazing at my face.
This world is fascinating,
I am the woman enchanting!
Magical death, Oh my infinite beggar!
Open the door, please open,  
Erase the tide of time from the futile twenty-two years! !

Copyright © Malabika Ray Choudhury | Year Posted 2021



 Here are the links to my translations of Rabindranath Tagore's Poems: (Freed From My Shackles) (Deception - Part 2) ( Two Birds)

(Banalata Sen)

(Invention Of Shoes - Part 1)

(Invention Of Shoes - Part 2)

(Sleeping Beauty)

(An Ordinary Girl)


Below is a link to my recitation of a few spiritual poems from Geetanjali, the collection of poems and songs for which Tagore received the Nobel Prize. 


I would be honoured if my friends from Soup are able to subscribe to this channel, where I post recitations of some of my poems, poems by Rabindranath Tagore and other renowned poets, and also post recorded songs in Bengali (rendered by myself) composed by Tagore. I have to admit - the songs are all in Bengali, which is my home-language, and it's the language in which Tagore composed his masterpieces. (Geetanjali by Rabindranath Tagore) - English Translation

Channel URL for You Tube

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I truly appreciate your kindness.

Take care. Love and best wishes, 





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Date: 10/16/2021 2:37:00 PM
You have done a marvellous job, Mala. Your translation is fluent and a pleasure to read. I first read an English translation of Rabindranath Tagore's poetry when I was about 19 yrs old. I wrote a poem then which was influenced by his poetry; it is still one of my favourites. ~ I will definitely be reading more translations of yours, Mala.
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Malabika Ray Choudhury
Date: 10/16/2021 2:43:00 PM
Thank you so much, Paul. I feel honoured that many of my friends at this site read and enjoyed this excellent poem - I mean the content, the thoughts of the original poem " Mukti". Very curious to know, Paul, which poem of Tagore you read, when you were 19. And would love to see your poem! Feeling so thankful with your inspiring and wise comments. Best wishes ~ Mala
Date: 10/16/2021 8:53:00 AM
Mala beautiful translation and in doing so you have kept the soul of thought as Tagore would have liked it! Tagore’s poem goes far beyond the boundaries of language and geography! His words touch every human heart because of its simplicity and truth!! I live in England 20 minutes from Stratford Upon -Avon and many here have not read or heard about Shakespeare! I am sure the present generation of western world would not remember this great poet and genius!! Translations like what you have done would help bring back his memories again. So pleased to see you put in this effort to inundate general ignorance!!
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Malabika Ray Choudhury
Date: 10/16/2021 2:48:00 PM
Thank you so much, Krish. I am truly touched by your inspiring and wise comments. What you have mentioned about reading classics, is so true and tragic. I love Tagore's works so much that I want to share with the whole world! This is only my humble efforts to reach readers beyond one country, or one language. Best wishes ~ Mala
Date: 10/15/2021 11:25:00 PM
I am very much fond of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. I have read almost all his works. Besides his Gitanjali, his poetic drams such as The King of the Dark Chamber, The Post Office, his novel, Gora, and so on. I still remember the struggle I took to visit his ancestral home at Kolkotta, traveling long from Kanyakumari District. Well, these are pleasant memories. Coming to your translation -it's, indeed very beautiful and realistic just like hearing from Tagore himself. I can feel the presence of Tagore in these lines. Thank you for sharing this.
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Malabika Ray Choudhury
Date: 10/16/2021 8:41:00 AM
Dear Friend, I am delighted to know that you are fond of Gurudev Tagore's writings, and read almost all his works. What a marvellous achievement! You read his novel - Gora? OMG! How many Bengalis have done that? Kolkata is my birthplace - and where I grew up. I am trained in his music and songs, which is my most favourite passion even today - and create You Tube videos. Thank you so much for your inspiring comment - I feel like getting more and more engaged in the translations. Love and best wishes
Date: 10/15/2021 7:50:00 PM
You have presented for us a marvelous piece of Indian literature. I have heard the name Tagore, of course, him being a Nobel laureate, but had never had opportunity to read any of his work. Thanks, Mala.
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Malabika Ray Choudhury
Date: 10/15/2021 8:13:00 PM
Thank you, Milton. Truly appreciate your beautiful comment. I have translated a few of Tagore’s long story-poems. Delighted to share with my friends at Soup. BW always ~ Mala
Date: 10/15/2021 9:36:00 AM
I think another person from India used to show us translations here. If I remember, his name was Ravindra. Do you know of this fellow Soup poet? It must be interesting for you to translate authors of the caliber that Anitha mentions below. Well done, Mala.
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Krish Radhakrishna
Date: 10/16/2021 8:56:00 AM
Andrea I recommend you read Tagore’s short stories! You would understand the greatness of this writer, philosopher and poet! His poetry is the eternal truth!
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Malabika Ray Choudhury
Date: 10/15/2021 9:44:00 AM
Sorry, Andrea. I don’t think I know Ravindra. I grew up reading Tagore’s work because in my childhood, my aunt was doing her master’s on him. In my state, almost everyone sings his songs. I am very much influenced by his spiritualism expressed in his poetry. He was master in all genres of literature, music and art. Thanks, Andrea, for visiting my blog. Love ~ Mala
Date: 10/15/2021 8:03:00 AM
Rabindranath Tagore, the first Indian to win a Nobel Prize for literature for India..a poet, philosopher, artist, and you can add on and on. I am happy you took so much interest in translating the great poet's works. Tagore's 'Gitanjali' is one of my favourites and I had it to study in my PG. Thanks for sharing this dear Mala. Will be reading your translation and commenting on your poem in your page soon my friend... Hugs... ~ Ani
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Malabika Ray Choudhury
Date: 10/15/2021 8:12:00 AM
Thanks, Anitha. He was the first non-European to win a Nobel Prize. Not about prizes, I read almost all his work - which is unbelievably huge - I am amazed at the spiritualism in his work. Geetanjali poems were translated by himself. Love ~ Mala

My Past Blog Posts

A Few Words About My Contest - Inspired By A Translation
Date Posted: 11/9/2021 6:22:00 AM
Translations - Empowering Women In Nineteenth Century India
Date Posted: 10/14/2021 3:32:00 PM
"MERSE - Beauty Of Fall" Contest Results Finalized
Date Posted: 9/24/2021 5:00:00 PM
MERSE Poetry Contest
Date Posted: 8/31/2021 4:07:00 PM
Results Finalized For Contest - A Tender Moment From Childhood
Date Posted: 7/1/2021 4:31:00 PM
My "Sunflower" Poetry Contest - A Few Words
Date Posted: 5/21/2021 9:34:00 AM
Translations From Nobel-Laureate Poet Of India
Date Posted: 4/12/2021 4:20:00 PM
How To Attach Pictures To Your Poems (some helpful instructions)
Date Posted: 3/27/2021 3:49:00 PM
My Contest - Moments Of Reflection (Haibun)
Date Posted: 3/26/2021 7:36:00 PM
My Contest - I Remember
Date Posted: 3/8/2021 4:02:00 PM
An Experience Of Faberge-inspired Rare Eggshell Art (Video)
Date Posted: 2/7/2021 6:08:00 PM
Deception - Translation from Rabindranath Tagore
Date Posted: 7/26/2020 5:45:00 AM
Books, Art, Food - My Dream Vacation
Date Posted: 7/12/2020 5:36:00 PM
A Sleeping Beauty - Translation From Rabindranath Tagore
Date Posted: 6/30/2020 6:16:00 PM
Childhood Memories - A Poetic Inspiration
Date Posted: 6/22/2020 7:22:00 AM
Translation From Rabindranath Tagore (Nobel-Laureate in 1913)
Date Posted: 6/12/2020 6:20:00 AM
A Rare Art, A Poetic Inspiration - Part 2
Date Posted: 6/5/2020 7:54:00 AM
A Rare Art, A Poetic Inspiration
Date Posted: 5/29/2020 5:29:00 PM
Mala's Space
Date Posted: 5/24/2020 7:14:00 PM

My Recent Poems

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12/4/2021 Human Rights In My Mind Free verserights,society,
12/1/2021 Gifts I Cherish Pantoumgiving,love,teacher,
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11/28/2021 In Every Snowflake I Behold Imagismcelebration,snow,
11/27/2021 Magical Snow Pantoumcelebration,love,nature,s
11/26/2021 Snowing Xmas Versechristmas,family,love,
11/23/2021 Writing Unwraps My Soul - POTD Free verselife,writing,
11/18/2021 Promise Forgotten Haibunart,i miss you,loss,
11/11/2021 World Of Ultramarine Rhymeimagination,sky,
11/11/2021 One Last Rose Free versefarewell,nature,rose,
11/11/2021 holiday solitude Haikucolor,nature,
11/7/2021 River Flows Free verseriver,time,
11/5/2021 FINALLY SAVED Part 3 - Translation From Rabindranath Tagore Free versefather daughter,marriage,
11/5/2021 FINALLY SAVED Part 2 - TRANSLATION FROM RABINDRANATH TAGORE Free versefather daughter,love,marr
11/5/2021 FINALLY SAVED PART 1 - TRANSLATION FROM RABINDRANATH TAGORE Free versefather daughter,love,marr
11/1/2021 A Beauty Unimaginable - AP Free versebeauty,sky,
10/31/2021 Dream Catchers Free versedream,life,
10/30/2021 Soulful Of Feelings Free versemountains,ocean,song,spir
10/29/2021 Defiant Blue Rhymenature,sky,
10/19/2021 I Love You Free verselove,soulmate,
10/18/2021 Drizzle Of Rain Free versebird,love,rain,
10/17/2021 Your Garden - Translation Free verseflower,garden,sea,
10/15/2021 Night Visitor Haikunight,silence,
10/11/2021 Freed From My Shackles - Translation From Tagore Free versefreedom,women,
10/11/2021 Home, Sweet Home Free versepoverty,sorrow,
10/10/2021 Life's Crushed Roses Versedream,life,uplifting,
10/8/2021 Thanksgiving At Granma's Nursery Rhyme Rhymefamily,thanksgiving,
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10/5/2021 Missing You Free verselove,romantic,
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9/28/2021 Bring Me Home Rhymechildhood,memory,
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9/17/2021 Meandering Free verselife,river,
9/16/2021 A Garden Beckons Free versegarden,remember,
9/16/2021 Like A Peacock POTD Free verseemotions,love,
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9/14/2021 A Mystery Free verselove,
9/14/2021 Hello Again, September Free verseautumn,seasons,
9/12/2021 Keepsake Free verselove,memory,
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9/6/2021 Harmony Alliterationbird,nature,
9/5/2021 Last Sigh Free versedeath,love,
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9/3/2021 Light Aglow Versenature,sky,sun,
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8/27/2021 Gleeful Footlenature,poetry,
8/22/2021 Cadence Of A Seashore Free versenature,sea,
8/21/2021 Twilight Pink Haikumoon,nature,
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8/20/2021 Star In My Constellation Prose Poetrysky,star,
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8/12/2021 Nightingale Haikubird,song,
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8/11/2021 Oasis At Heart Of City Prose Poetrynature,solitude,
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8/10/2021 The Writer In Me Wants You To Know Free versehow i feel,poetry,
8/9/2021 Dewdrops Versenature,
8/6/2021 Waterfall Of Kindness Haibunlove,memory,
8/6/2021 Holding Back Tears Free versehome,memory,
8/2/2021 A Moment Of Tranquility Imagismnature,sea,sun,
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7/28/2021 I am who I am Bioi am,life,
7/24/2021 Tapestry We Weave Rhymeimagination,nature,
7/22/2021 Sun Inspires Free versenature,sky,
7/22/2021 Chimes At Crimson Twilight Free versebeach,memory,muse,
7/15/2021 Imagination Verseimagination,
7/14/2021 Rain Whispers Free verselove,rain,
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7/11/2021 Again Haikulove,memory,
7/11/2021 Love Again Verselove,rain,
7/8/2021 Where Did You Go, My Brother - Translation Free versebrother,loss,love,sad,
7/7/2021 Miraculous Earth - EL Haikuearth,nature,
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6/29/2021 Moment To Grasp Free verselonging,love,
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5/27/2021 Tangerine Reverie Free versefantasy,imagination,
5/26/2021 Believe In Dreams Free verse10th grade,11th grade,12t
5/24/2021 Whisper Free versefeelings,love,relationshi
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5/16/2021 Miraculous Free verselove,miracle,relationship
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5/13/2021 Earth Acrosticearth,planet,
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The Last Petal Free versefunny love,
A Bullfrog's Croak Quatrain10th grade,11th grade,9th
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Amberina Ballerina Free versedestiny,emotions,inspirat
Reflections in Silence - Moon and I Free verseanalogy,life,philosophy,
I will be the stars Free verse1st grade,beauty,bible,je
My Winter Free verselove,passion,winter,
One Day Soon Free versehope,love,
The Garden That Lives On Concretegarden,
to remember Rhymeseasons,
Gently now, gently Lyriclove,romantic,
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In your lockup Rhymecute love,love,passion,
Abandoned Free verseflower,garden,lost love,r
A Writer Born to Create Free versewriting,
The Strength of a Princess Versedream,fantasy,night,princ
O April Free verseappreciation,april,beauty
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Skeletons of Lace Quatrainautumn,death,life,
Separated By A Common Language Rhymeamerica,england,language,
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Objects of Nature Free versenature,
There Is A Star With My Name On It Free versedesire,hope,night,romanti
The Universe of Creativity, the Poet, and the Poem Free versepoems,
Imagination Free verseanalogy,bird,imagination,
Where do we Poets go Free versedeath,life,poems,poetry,p
Ruin Gazing Free versesolitude,
A Dawn Symphony Sapphic stanzabird,
Lift somebody's dawn Lyricencouraging,inspiration,m
The Forest Free versenature,
Yes, Love the Salty Ocean Rondeau Redoubleocean,
Painting Love Sonnetlove,
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Religion Or Spirituality Narrativeappreciation,
A Poem for Michael Rhymeabuse,angst,discriminatio
Old Gal Rhymehusband,kid,love,money,tr
Harmony Free versenature,peace,
I Will Give You Free versefaith,hope,inspirational,
Heartbroken Free versegrief,pain,
Poetry: A Profound Sense Of Beauty - a collaboration with Frederic Parker Free verseappreciation,beauty,imagi
Ode to Mother Ganga Odemother,river,
I Didn't Know Rhymeappreciation,bullying,chi
Sunset Tableau Verseappreciation,lost love,na
Black Opal Free versebirth,color,space,
What My Mother Means to Me Narrativelove,memorial,mother son,
Fantasy Is The Luster Of Opalescence Free verseappreciation,art,fantasy,
Would You Still Love Me Free versecare,cry,death,depression
A Poem For My Algebra Teacher Free verse6th grade,abuse,betrayal,
Everybody's Going Home Lyricloneliness,lonely,longing
Night Sky's Party Terzanellenight,sky,
My forest of dreams Rhymeblessing,devotion,
Enchanted Morning Rhymenature,
Allow me to dream your dreams Verselove,
Dancing With Mom Coupletanalogy,dance,joy,life,lo
In my Dream Free versedream,
Letter to My Future Self Rhymefuture,
Lizzie Siddal's Last Pose Free verseart,
let there be color Free verseflower,garden,
Oh, Hello September Free verseseptember,
dance party in summer Haikucelebration,dance,summer,
Vermillion Sunrise at Kanyakumari Free versenature,sky,sun,
Vagabond Dreams Quintain (English)appreciation,love,
Raindrops Kissing Imagismgarden,imagery,spiritual,
Lullaby Nursery Rhyme Rhymemoon,sleep,song,stars,
Oh, Autumn Quintain (Sicilian)autumn,
Love Shines Free verselight,love,
Lies, Lies, Lies Rhyme10th grade,11th grade,12t
Falling Like Leaves, Again Acrosticautumn,memory,romance,sou
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