Kamal Kumar Tantii

“The one who is dead before death”


Painting of Mike Absalom

We gave him the salute for one last time
Even though we knew
He died like a dog

We showered flowers on his dead body for one last time
Even though we knew
He was famous for his fox-like slyness

We placed him in a grave
Even though we did not know
Just below his grave, in a line
We were sleeping  Silent


KAMAL KUMAR TANTI (b. 1982) is a promising young voice in the contemporary Assamese Poetry. Kamal is a bilingual poet and writer, writes both in English and Assamese. He belongs to the Adivasi Tea-garden Labourer Community in Assam. His first collection of poetry Marangburu Amar Pita (Our Father Marangburu), published in 2007, won him the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for 2012, for Assamese language and Munin Barkotoki Literary Award for 2008. His poems have been included in various anthologies of Assamese and English poetry and featured in various journals in English and Assamese.