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Dhoopee or "The Juniper" begins with the poet speaking directly to a juniper tree, warning against the harshness of the world. From there the poem ranges through an astonishing variety of rich landscapes and images, now in a garden, now a city, now boating on a river, now touching on world politics, sputnik, glaciers and promises of "shangri-la". All that lies between the death of a hummingbird and the end of the world gets swirled into the poem, linked by the thread of love and relationships among people, nature, the poet and the juniper. The elationship with the juniper is the central support, beginning with the early warning, and ending with a plea for a return of love from the tree.
Translating poetry is never easy, and there is inevitably so much cultural and linguistic that simply doesn't come across in translation. I have tried to be as faithful and close to the text as possible. Many thanks to Toya Gurung for her patient explanations. Any remaining errors are my own.