Nasima SultanaDear Sadness
Dear sadness, take the bright handkerchief
I gave you And go home.
As of today, we depart
From each other forever.
I will smoke cigarettes tonight sitting in the dark with three men.
Whisky does not suit me,
My doubt burns in brightened fire.
I, too, have hope in my heart! . . .
Terrible hot water
And the salt of the Bay of Bengal . . .
Will my hopes fully tumble down onto me
If the raven cries out at noon?
You are the sadness of no letters for a month and a half.
You are the sadness of no poetry for a month and a half.
You are the sadness for the ambitious funerals
For a month and a half.
You are the sadness for the fade out immortality
For a month and a half—
And, as of today, we depart from each other forever.
Take this bright handkerchief I’ve given you
And go right home.
I will smoke cigarettes tonight
Sitting in the dark with three men.
I will rip off a cool and calm and abstract afternoon
From the day:
For myself in absence of the dead people,
And say, "See, how beautiful life is!"
Nasima Sultana (1957 - 1997) published two collections of poetry before she died in cancer. Her Collected Poems, published by the friends and family after her death, was widely appreciated.
Translated from the Bengali by Hassanal Abdullah