• Parabaas
    Parabaas : পরবাস : বাংলা ভাষা, সাহিত্য ও সংস্কৃতি
  • পরবাস | Translation | Poem
  • Two Poems from Bandir Bandana : Buddhadeva Bose
    translated from Bengali to English by Ketaki Kushari Dyson

    Love and Life


    As a poor boy standing in front of a theatre’s gates,
    one foot on the street, the other on marble steps,
    with sad eyes of longing stares at the lovely palace
    and curses his own indigence under his breath:
    the hours pass, the auditorium’s plunged in darkness,
    the stage is lit, the air throbs with poetry and music -
    through his eager ears the melodies reach his spirit
    like a dream overture, and his mind’s in joy’s high tide: -

    even so, love, all I’ve had so far in life
    is just a glimpse of you, your finger’s touch!
    Yet already the earth’s at my feet, the firmament’s my finger’s ring,
    and amazed, I think: that thing whose faintest hint
    brings births and deaths in instants, and in tears raises seas -
    its complete revelation - what a miracle that must be!

    3 February 1929, night


    You are of this life, yet you are more than life.
    Life’s suffering’s sandbank’s girt with the sea of sleep -
    on its sand your teeming footprints you leave
    and with those marks life’s insignia you inscribe.
    Where all is transient, unreal - you are the pole star’s light.
    Those who, in the cave of death, have discovered God,
    whose fragile lives hang on the insupportable, on roots of hope -
    you, steady and stable, are the truth on their rostrum of lies.

    A lump of flesh is man - a pot of slime, a pile of primal urges,
    until you come and charge him up, make him quiver;
    it’s when you pour your wine that his crystal form appears -
    all over the rim of life’s cup that wine fizzes.
    Foamy madness - waste without compare -
    till at last in blood’s darkness heaven sparks, and a fire blazes.

    27 March 1929, morning

    Published in Parabaas: February 2001

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