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English Translation of Bangla Poems

[pullquote][AWD_comments] [/pullquote]The intention is to represent Bangla poems in English but this is very partial; the translator has chosen the poets and poems, we just pick the living poets up. Therefore, these poems are not the sole representation of Bangla poetry, but obviously are few examples. The thing is not that to be translated in another language, poems have to be very important in the original language; the idea of the importance as well as the purpose of the translation can vary widely; but above all, we can’t deny that the selection itself imposes some sort of importance on the text. By publishing these translations of Bangla poems we just desire to spread the possibility to influence the poetry of other languages.



Kajal Shaahnewaz

One day Pineapple i

There was no one but pineapples in the field
I slid inside
and quietly became one of them
with the desire to see more with many more eyes.
Many a grief myriad possibilities
I see the mid morning sun boiling on one side
wind blowing with pollen
Sal forest on one side. A noise on the other, a whistling gasp, who knows of what.
When free anguish became creative
it was surely a fusion manifold
that formed such a colossal alienation
My polyvision could only show me a singularity.
Even with many eyes, I really only have one, I reckoned
With many sensations, the soul is solitary.
I saw, top and bottom don’t match up.
Far is incomparable with near.
Night and day are distinct.
If you probe like a pineapple with many an eye
you can trace parallel thoughts.
you can groove many perceptions. Many things can be seen.


Rifat Choudhury

Woman ii

A woman in green sari
is hanging another one of her green saris
on the clothes line.


Written beneath a Sheikh Mujib photo iii

A picture on the wall.
An aged man.
Open eyes, radiant in charisma.
This dead man’s living descendants have gathered beneath the picture
All of them have their eyes shut.


Hope iv

Discolored dusty battered and old
Few rickshaws
parked in a row at a deserted spot.
Begum Khaled Zia’s face painted on the back of one.
Leather seat is ripped
You can see the springs coming out
The rickshaw puller sits lazy
on it.
Two wheels are bent.


Barin Ghoshal

Velocity and Mass v

I am out of your body now
Floating in void

There is no shadow
I’d bloom thought I had wanted to bloom
I scour the eerie mirror and find these unbearable nerves
There is nobody else, nothing else

You have lost yourself in this ocean of quark
Barin Ghoshal
I am jealous
Did you get over your talent and thirst
Did you win

Walls hilltops and those clothes that Manorama took off
Return babel the pleasure cries of the lonely man

Now I got to figure out who is human
You or me
I can see and hear
And who will she resort to
Once Manorama becomes a memoryless buoy
Did I find this void or the void found me.


Amitabha Maitra


To strip matter off of its meaning
What you need is velocity, intense velocity.
Hurling a dark rooster into the eye of a storm
and freeing him from his auxiliary feathers, laughter
And putting emphasis on his cold inertia in such a way
that a chimney mechanic will be scared to walk in with his brush
towards the crumbs
stuck in trachea.


Night vii

Where even the eyes of a cat glitter at times
And behind the scattered stones
a man repeatedly gets lost
And returns taller and bigger each time
With his head high
like a lantern brimming with light
To get himself sewn by slim rains
To steadily change the probabilities of ennui and retribution


Sabyasachi Sanyal

Noton Mahato’s Poem viii

I live alone
Under water two men deep
My lover lives with my love
In two souls’ water
Not rain
I like days that get rain.

Instead I think of instead
Aban paints on instead
I am a boat in his picture
Fishes talk
Their words rap on the boat
Under water two men deep
are buds of a lime tree
her scattered thorns

In a yard aqueous
Two men deep
Not the thorns
I live as the thorns’s ruse
On the other side of water
two men deep
Lives a lime tree loves my tales
Not me.


Shashi Haque

Before I abate ix

Gambling wheel is slowing down.

Just before it stops
Its grind, imbalance, and anxiety
Slip into me like a squashed voice

You are the arm on the wheel. I am abating
like a drunkard
to feel your touch.


Puppet Song x

A remarkable beast that loves to elude– that is me. Nothing is mine anymore, or like me, and I am no longer anything but my dissolute existence. So I hide. I hide as much as I can behind new or aged husks. My vibrant outfits, dark glasses and facial hair camouflage all secrets . This is good, since I am trying to be a human. And human is the name of a mask, a lonely box, a charming puppet– a puppet that sings.


Raad Ahmad

If you want to hear sweet talks xi

If you want to hear sweet talks
I will break the fence one day and give you an earful I will spank the table
and say – ‘why the fuck
you didn’t repair my shoe? Was I not gonna pay
was I not gonna pay you money?’ I would then bring out some fungus from the wallet
and have a feast
shoulder to shoulder with five billion others – we shall
overcome one day – ha ha ha come over my place
and we shall practise some sex – loveless
like gobbling a burger with no appetite –
I will then talk sweet with big rolling eyes
With the hope to gain some aesthetics of dark graves
we will leave behind some chubby, uncalled for kids
The sweet talks will continue even after that
until the day comes
when clouds no longer bring water
but buckets of profanity


In the eye xii

I stare into your eyes within mine
in the mirror
Eyelids are so captivated
aren’t they?
may be not?
Amidst so many, have I just been able to look at you
with the eyes of a deer?
may be not?
What am I but a vast rug
O crooked needle,
You stitch across and leave


Imrul Hassan

Song of Estrangement xiii

Elongated and sad
much like a coconut tree – this lament
Sways in the breeze
after it stopped raining;

Your door curtains flit about too, afar..
Where to go now? Where to go?

This afternoon is rolling towards dusk
Murky red sun
dimming further

And all on a sudden
like a monstrous scream — the rickshaw’s tire explodes

Then it’s all quiet again

Slippery muddy ground
lies estranged
after the game is over
Tiny leaves under the starfruit tree
Footprints gather on wet soil beside them
Signs of human movement; Who can tell which one was whose..

No way can I recall
When exactly had this story begun
When came its demise!

Divided to start, and then
gradually narrow..

A coconut leaf is swaying in the breeze

Never again
can it be uprooted

That face engraved in memory
Shadow of a face
amidst these jumbled bits of moments

wants to resurface
It never will

The sun set,
You murmured
So long!

All scenes dissolved
after dark

Nimble night walks in
retracting everyone within herself

The coconut leaf kept swaying
empty, Insightful…..



Written In Bus xiv


See how blue the sky is in Manikganj
See those sunny cars
hustling across the bridge
Three girls
botany students I take
They get off the bus
and everything becomes dull
Mileposts turn into rows
of estrangement


Nighttime road
Rubina Akhtar
Lies pure like the parting line
of your hair
The Aricha freeway
Travel fatigue
Nose stud
I see scatter of stars
Confusion of a moon lovestruck


Trigger Happy xv

O sophist, why gallop your horse so much? When it’s none but you
who the barrrel is staring at pretty. Those chasing rabbits
with that gun, changing aim repeatedly –
They promulgate fake terror. Hunting season begins in the sanctuary
so cruel. Whatever they see they yell – fire!



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