Durga Lal Shrestha, born in 1936 into a lower middle class family in Kathmandu, is one of Nepal’s leading poets and lyricists. Writing primarily in his mother tongue, Nepal Bhasa, the ancestral language of the Kathmandu Valley, he is the author of over fifty books, including poems, plays, essays and children’s verse used for mother-tongue education. More recently, he has also received wide acclaim for his poems and songs written in Nepali. Collections of his poems have been translated into English, Japanese and Korean.
Not coincidentally, many of his poems are in meters linked to musical forms. Although he has written primarily in Nepal Bhasa, his poems and songs in Nepali have made him a household name; his Nepali song phulko ā̐khāmā holds the distinction of being the most popular hit song ever in Nepal.
David Hargreaves, translator of Shrestha's poetry, is a Professor in the Department of English, Writing and Linguistics at Western Oregon University. Editorial note: Although the original Nepal Bhasa text used the conventional Devanagari conjunct letters, for journal formatting purposes the Nepal Bhasa text of the poems appears here with the virama sign (used for suppressing the inherent vowel).
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Shrestha, Durga Lal and Hargreaves, David. 2017. Selected Poems. HIMALAYA 37(1).
Available at: https://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/himalaya/vol37/iss1/20