The International Poetry Journal in Bengali and English

Issue 39
Jan-Mar '08

Shamsur Rahman

The Eternal Sunlight

Staring at the midday sun,
I remember so many things past.
The deepest joy in my heart,
Stirred by the sunlight, quietly soothes me.
I get drunk with the wine of the sun.
A group of strangers walks up to me,
With an alarming jolt,
And greets me with a sudden slap on the back.
Some start gambling, while at some distance,
A lone man sits quietly penning poems
With the ink of sunlight.
But the gamblers gather around him
Suddenly excited, shouting,
Thinking the poems are banknotes.
Then, amazed, realizing the fact of poetry,
They tear the manuscript from the man
And toss it into the air.
In the end, these outraged gamblers
Snatch away the sunlight.
But the poet remains calm as they depart
Fading away into the air.

Shamsur Rahman (1929 - 2006) was the most prolific and undoubtedly significant poet of the modern Bengali literature. He published more than 60 volumes of poetry. Through his poetry, he became the part of the history of Bangladesh and stablished himself as the poet of freedom. It is often said that no poet other than Tagore and Nazrul got so much popular in Bengal as Rahman.

Translated from the Bengali by Hassanal Abdullah

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