The International Poetry Journal in Bengali

Translated Poetry
9th Issue
July-Sept 2000

From Barishal to Briarwood:
Bengali Poetry in English

Nazrul Islam Naz (1959-)

From Barishal to Briarwood
If you pass him by
You can see the man
But you can hardly notice
The noticeable things inside him.

Seeing him face to face
Could lead you to an exercise in deception,
For the man in Briarwood
Is full of the soul of Barishal.

He takes the highways and byways of New York
To be the same as the wide and open roads and rivers
That flow in Jibanananda.

You could be deceived talking to a man
Who talks back at you with eyes and mind fixed
Some thousands of miles away
Away from the neon nights of New York
And busy days of Brooklyn.
On the other hand
You could be in for a surprise
Better still, luck
To see so much of Bengal
From a pair of eyes in New York
Eyes it seems which
Have not yet left the Bangla soil.

Translated by the poet

Barishal: A city in the southern part of Bangaldesh, where the great poet Jibanananda Das was born.

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    Shabdaguchha, A Journal of Bengali Poetry, Published in New York, Edited by Hassanal Abdullah.