The International Poetry Journal in Bengali and English

Issue 39
Jan-Mar '08

Hasan Hafiqur Rahman

At the Time of Someone’s Death

We’ve just arrived.

We are as calm as the roots of grass in a remote forest.
In a long process, we have condensed ourselves into morning dew.
We have made ourselves into such crystallized beings.
Even a bit of sweat sits on the lovers lips in great anxiety.

His eyelids open and close
As the last star of the morning sky.
We stood around him
Bowing our heads as we do it in the Holy places—
Even then, we wanted to be vanished as our breath,
As we sacrifice our lives for the Holy Land.

Our marble bodies transformed into a spiritual call
In a unique summons
All human beings transformed into a spiritual call.

We have not burst into tears yet,
Only a huge vacuum, as it seems, above the sea,
Galvanized our throats as thrust.
We are now self-reflexive and lonely as the earth.
Only for this moment—
We’ve just awakened but for this moment,
We’ve gone back into the cave of our hearts as the evening birds,
Polishing a handful of nights and sunlight on our hearts,
As if, finding our whole selves back one more time—
Standing in front of a departing life.

His eyelids open and close
As the last star of the morning sky—

And, at that time the sun of death has risen
With a gigantic darkness,
Our sun-flowered eyes have started to burn
And the last star of the sky has
Fallen along with the rays of death.

And then, we, the sunflowers, have sunk
Back into our eternal, ancient darkness
As the sun of death concludes its task.

Hasan Hafizur Rahman (1932 - 1983) became the editor of the Daily Bangla right after the liberation in 1971. He also worked for the government as a high official and edited the book, The Liberation War of Bangladesh, which was published in 16 volumes. He was the author of 13 books including 8 collections of poetry and Adhunik Kobi O Kobita (Modern Poets and Poetry), a book of critical essays.

Translated from the Bengali by Hassanal Abdullah

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