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London in winter
Is a naked prostitute
And in summer
A voluptuous virgin
It is a strange city

Ramble through the streets of London
Buildings look like old academics
Planet Hollywood, the Aquarium
The Hippodrome
All hiding their secrets
Beneath their grand facades

That is London

If you are curious about
That shapely woman
Beware as her enticing smile
Can be an expensive trap
In the alleyways of Soho

And nearby there stands
A Gracious Mediaeval aristocracy
Gracefully grinning at democracy
The will of the people, so they say

And over there
Manufactured from used condoms
Or a dead horse in the Tate
They call them Art

And yet still they pay homage
To Rembrandt and his ilk
London has its surfaces
And beneath them its secrets

The ridiculous and the sublime
Flow together in the Thames
And the London Eye looks on
With a wry smile.

Translation, by author himself | 23 January 2005, London
Mishra plans to translate more of his poems after he retires from politics. His Nepali poems have been compiled in ‘Rabindra Mishraka Kabita’. Please go to the BOOKS section to find out more about his poetry book and where to purchase it.

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