Translated from Bengali by Dipali Chakraborty
With the colour of my own consciousness
The emerald became green, the ruby became
I opened my eyes at the sky,
And there was light
In the east, in the west.
I looked at the rose and said,`Beautiful!'
Beautiful it became.
You may say, `This is philosophy
Not the message of a poet.'
I will answer, `This is truth,
Hence this is poetry.'
This is my pride--
Pride on behalf of whole mankind.
It is on the canvas of human consciousness
That the Great Creator creates His world
The philosopher meditates and chants
with every breath--
`No, no, no!
Not emeralds, not rubies, not light,
not roses, not you, not I'.
On the other hand, the Infinite Being
Himself has pursued His creation
Within the limits of human mind,
And that is called `I'.
Within the depth of that self light and
There arose images and emotions.
Who knows when, by what spell of Maya
‘No' bloomed into `Yes'
through lines and colours, joy and sorrow.
Do not call it philosophy.
My mind is full of delight
In this sphere of creation of the Great
With a brush in hand and colours on
The scholar says `That ancient moon--
He has a cruel, cunning smile
Like a messenger of Death
He is stealthily approaching the ribs of the earth.
One day he will attract her oceans and
With a tremendous force.
And that will produce a cipher on the
Of terrestrial time
And devour all accounts of days and nights.
Human achievements will lose their
pretence of immortality,
Human history will be swept over by
Dark ink of eternal night
The dying eyes of mankind
Will suck the last hues from the universe.
The dying souls of mankind
Will wipe off all its emotions.
Power will vibrate through the skies
No light will be there.
Through the vacant hall of the deserted
The musician’s fingers will dance away,
No music will be there.
That day the unpoetic God will sit alone
In the sky devoid of its blue
With his accounts of impersonal existence.
Nowhere upto the farthest end of the
With its unlimited number of galaxies
This voice will sound,
`You are beautiful!' `I love you!'
Will God sit again to meditate
Through the ages
And chant in the dusk of destruction
Will He plead, `Say, you are beautiful’?,
`Say, I love'?
15 Jaistho 1343
From Shyamali (1343)
Translated by Dipali Chakraborty
Illustration by Nilanjana