by A.K. Ramanujan

I resemble everyone
but myself, and sometimes see
in shop windows
despite the well-known laws
of optics,
the portrait of a stranger,
date unknown,
often signed in a corner
by my father

IMAGE: “At the Central Market of Mumbai” [detail] by George Atsametakis. Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born in Mysore, India, Attipate Krishnaswami Ramanujan (1929 –1993) was a poet, scholar,  translator, and playwright. His academic research ranged across five languages: Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit, and English. In 1999, he was posthumously awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for his Collected Poems.