The International Poetry Journal in Bengali and English

Issue 39
Jan-Mar '08

Helal Hafiz


If you look at me carefully,
You will recognize me.

I am the grammatical form of mankind,
The blooming science of life.
I am the 'radical' of the civilization.
You need to recognize me—
Just look at me carefully.

Not knowing me means
Not knowing the great bondage
Of man and earth and their everlasting love.

Not knowing me means
Not knowing the morning dew,
Grass flowers and swans—
Not knowing the plants.

Knowing the field that is ready to harvest,
Knowing the jug that is filled with water,
Crows, or the deposited sediment of mud
Means knowing me perfectly.

Don’t you recognize me?
I am your nickname,
The wild river in your heart.

Helal Hafiz (1947 - ) led a bohemian life and practically lived in the Press Club of Dhaka for many years. The poem, Nishidho Shampadokio (A Banned Editorial), written at the time of the peoples’ uprise in 1979, immediately made him famous. Mr. Hafiz, the author of only one collection of poetry, is now working as a feature editor for a national daily newspaper published from Dhaka.

Translated from the Bengali by Hassanal Abdullah

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