Sunday, May 17, 2015

Naked, Lonely Hand: A meek translation of my all time favourite Bangla poem

Darkness deepens in the skies again
This darkness – she’s like the misty sister of light

who has loved me forever
and yet whose face I have never seen
like that woman,
darkness gathers dense in love on the springtime falgun night
seems like a lost city
a palace of the city, lost in dust, awakes in heart.

By the shores of the Indian Ocean
Or maybe by those of the Mediterranean Sea
or else by the Tyre Sea
It was there, this city, one day it was
today it isn’t. There was a palace
decked in rare furniture and pomp –
gardens of Persia, Shawls from Kashmir, flawless pearls and coral plucked from the waves of Berin,
my heart – extinct;
my eyes – dead;
my faded dreams and wants –
and you, woman –
all these were in that world that one day
there was orange sunshine,
there were many macaws and pigeons,

there were many leaves in deep shades of mahogany
and there was much orange sunshine
much orange sunshine
and you were there;
it’s been so long, so many centuries have passed by –
that I haven’t seen your face
that I haven’t looked for your face

Springtime darkness brings these tales from across those sea-shores,
Lines of pain drawn of splendid pillars and domes,
smells of lost pears,
gray manuscripts made of skins of countless dears and lions
rainbow-coloured glass-windows,
endless waves of curtains made of peacock-plume colours
from room to room
from orbit to orbit
to rooms far and further away
across orbits far and further away
glimpse of aura –

Ageless silence – stunned –
ageless amazement.
sweat jumps from blood-coloured sunshine on curtains, on gardens
wine made from watermelon in red glasses!
your naked, lonely hand;
your naked, lonely hand.


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