Shabdaguchha: Logo_new edited by: Hassanal Abdullah issue: 67/68


Poets and Translators:

Kazue Shinkawa  
Rin Ishigaki  
Shinmin Sakamura 
Fumio Kataoka 
Kosaburo Nagatsu 
Jotaro Wakamatsu 
Naoshi Koriyama 
Hal Sirowitz 
Stanley H. Barkan  
Kelven Ka-shing LIT 
Peter Thabit Jones
Mike Graves 
Bishnupada Ray 
Hassanal Abdullah
Dhanonjoy Saha 
Matin Raihan 
Naznin Seamon
Anisur Rahman Apu 
Tushar Prasun 
Shiblee Shaheed

Book Review:
Nicholas Birns  
Caroline Gill 

William Heyen  
Bill Wolak

Cover Art:

Monique Ponsot

New Logo:

Najib Tareque

Shabdaguchha Title: Issue 68

Shabdaguchha: Issue 67_68
Cover Art by Monique Ponsot

Kosaburo Nagatsu


Did you see Hiroshima?

Have you been to Hiroshima?

I beseech you to visit Hiroshima.

The jumbles of barracks in front of the station have been developed
and department stores have been built.
The fields leading to the army’s drill ground have become the station buildings
for the bullet trains.
Things change in half a century.

We don’t see any scars of war anywhere now.
But people live quietly hiding their scars.
Few are the A-bomb survivors who can talk about their experiences now
and they keep silent, holding their sorrow for having survived.

Soon the temporary barracks have been replaced
with modern residential buildings.
Streets are widened and newly built,
a bit different from what we remember.
New bridges have been built and vehicles are going over them.
Now Hiroshima is a major city for the new century
with a population of 1,200,000.

On that day, high schoolgirls gathered to the first aid station
around Nigitsu Shrine
but now bullet trains dash by on the elevated railways
through the station and a row of buildings.
Am I foolish to try to remember the old Hiroshima?
Or is it too natural that the image of old Hiroshima should fade away?
Are these cries of the shadows in our hearts going to fade away?
Please inhale the air of Hiroshima now!

Did you see Hiroshima?

Please come, visit Hiroshima now.

Please inscribe the image of Hiroshima on your hearts.

Translated from the Japanese by Naoshi Koriyama

(Please read more at the Six Japanese Poets section)

From "An Interview William Heyen"

Bill Wolak: How would you define poetry?

William Heyen: Well, any definition would seem to narrow it. Maybe it has something to do with that which exists beyond paraphrase, beyond interpretation and theory, beyond translation. But I do think that poetry is our only chance as a species to survive on this earth, and I'm not just talking about our lyrics, our word/language constructs, but about a way of thinking that might enable us, as Emerson requires, to "integrate." The poet is the one who integrates, who makes us realize that we of all cultures are in this together, that the bell tolls for all of us, that all is One, in the end, as we move toward our common death. But I don't want to preach about this, or to understand it to the point where I become smug. I just want, by way of sound/story/image/rhythm to find on my own page a poem that is smarter than I am, as Archibald MacLeish says it must be, that has within itself whatever it needs to go on thinking about itself (and us) and its meanings longer than any one of us will. I've written my best poems in a semi-trance, one line appearing after another, rave and dream and song-sound, and have later been surprised at how much has welled up from me into them.

(Please continue reading at the Interview section)

From Book Review

...That this intellectual complexity coexists with a robust and passionate language and an achieved sense of place and feeling means that we now will have to regard Hassanal Abdullah not just as a major figure in contemporary Bengali literature, but as one of the central poets of his generation.

Reviewed by Nicholas Birns

(Please continue reading at the Book Review section)

Shabdaguchha: Issue 67_68

Find us on Facebook

Printed Version
পত্রিকার মুদ্রিত কপি


Six Japanese Poets

Poetry in English

Poetry in Bengali

An Interview with William Heyen

Book Review in English:

Neon Lights and Lemon-Ice Evenings

Time That Seizez Hands

শব্দগুচ্ছর এই সংখ্যাটির মুদ্রিত সংস্করণ ডাকযোগে পেতে হলে অনুগ্রহপূর্বক নিচে ক্লিক করে ওয়ার্ডার করুন।

To order for the hardcopy of this issue, please click on the following link:

Get a Hardcopy

Back to Issue 67_68
Back to Front Page Send Your Feedback
Shabdaguchha, an International Bilingual Poetry Magazine, edited by Hassanal Abdullah