The International Poetry Journal in Bengali

Translated Poetry
9th Issue
July-Sept 2000

From Barishal to Briarwood:
Bengali Poetry in English

Faruque Azam (1958-)

25th March, 1971
Each night I wake up with beads of sweat
The images of the past, present, and future;
Smell of gunpowder, burning houses, shrill siren
Scorching skin, heat of June, salty blood
See the Beethoven's symphony playing with fury.

Bangladesh after the bloodbath of 1971
Sudden changes to serenity, oblivion;
Pounding on the closed-door grilled balcony
Because we wore long overcoats and thermals.

Damn it! The morning alarm clock for work
Week's salary, under the table, white apron;
I hear whispers; "We will make it this time."
Faceless people, causeless slogans, empty talk.

We fought in darkness, thick smoke, and jasmine air
And changed the flag forever;
No independence achieved in sauna & spa
I'll have to forget what I owe to the IRS.

Autumn breeze bugs me like an old embrace
The shadow dances with Muktijoddah
25th March, 1971, when the shells and mortars
Echoed in scattered skulls and shattered dreams.

Translated by the poet

Muktijoddah: Bangladeshi freedom fighter, fought against Pakistani solders in 1971.

  • Back to the Translated Issue

  • Back to Front Page

  • To subscribe this special issue, write to Shabdaguchha with a $6 money order.

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