Two Poems by Masud Khan | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 13, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 13, 2016

Two Poems by Masud Khan

Translated from the Bengali: Sofiul Azam


I never went to Kurigram.

As night deepens, from the plain of our long-known planet

sleeping Kurigram gets loose little by little,

denying all rules of gravity.

Then it goes away flying with its little kingdom

to the far distance of emptiness up ahead.

Then we sit up looking at what the sky gets with a blue trace

and little villages become smaller as if black dots on the sky's face.  

For a long time, it floats alone on the whole of this subcontinent in space.

That steadfast star you see lying on the southern sky,

Kurigram goes there once to mark its place beside it.

Then smells of reddish vapours mildly come floating from this new star. 

In that county, in Kurigram, the kingfisher and the cormorant are two stepbrothers.

As all the rivers by Kurigram come quiet

the two brothers build homes on a river's bosom

and quarrel along with their wives, sons and daughters.  

When the river comes peaceful

the housewives bound by scriptural ordeals

gather on the riverbank overtopping the walls

become bright as gigantic crystals.

All of a sudden, a lonely weaverbird forgetting the art of weaving itself

sits alight on the mast struck by thunders  

comes wobbling on to the river water clear as beaten sheets of steel.

Kurigram, ah Kurigram!

The place where Kurigram is thought to be at home  

now has a pitch-black cave instead.

I never went to Kurigram.

Ah, this mortal life!

I won't ever land there in Kurigram.


So many things around! Things, stuffed with things alone…

yet I go on living together deeply with a strange aloofness,

living so well.

Only does it seem in some moments

as if time wouldn't move beyond a hair's breadth.

I'd never believed in anything like escapism.

These days I don't know why I feel at times

like fleeing to the Fancy Palace of an escapist like Sanyal.

I feel like spending a few days in that hospitable house.

So much torturous the mathematics around and every day's step-motherly rule

so much torturous the flesh and every day's coldest rule…

far from all these…be it for a few days

a brief hibernation.

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