Thursday, June 13, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Chuniya My Arcadia

'Chuniya My Arcadia' is an English translation of 'Chuniya Amar Arcadia'  by Rafiq Azad, one of the most prolific poets in the post-Liberation War period.  He is most well known for his poem 'Give me food, bastard'. 

Update : 15 Sep 2021, 08:00 PM

(Translated by Abdullah Al Muktadir)

So delicate is this name 

that it may shatter the moment one utters it,

that all the glory it holds would disappear.

Chuniya is a small village but is strong from within—

it will stand against this civilisation of deadly weapons.


Chuniya falls silent when night deepens.

Chuniya loves the moon which beams down a soft and serene light,

Chuniya the real Buddhist is quiet and green;

Chuniya is a vast expanse of indigenous land, truly captivating. 


Chuniya is yet to witness any cruelty.

Is Chuniya alarmed at the roar of rifles?

Do the leaves on trees cry “no” seeing the ferocity in beastly humans?

Chuniya, above all, loves humans.


Accompanied by trees all around, inhabitants of Chuniya

actually live happily together. 

Chuniya still has a place in the minds of 

some people from the civilised world.

There are some who still secretly 

nurture a Chuniya inside.


Chuniya knows how to nurse someone back to life,

Chuniya knows how to wrap a bandage, consolation is all that she offers—

Chuniya never hurts anybody, never;

Chuniya is deep green, and peace-loving as well, 

hence she directs all her hatred towards loggers.


Chuniya despises any shout,

Chuniya hates gunshot.

Chuniya doesn’t know a thing 

about bloodshed, or the throne;

Chuniya always urges 

all the fatal and destructive weapons of mankind be dumped

into the Mediterranean.

Chuniya wants mankind to cleanse their bloodstained hands 

with all the water from the oceans, and learn everything anew.

Chuniya always urges 

all the battlefields on this planet be cultivated 

with sweet-smelling flowers. 


There are times when Chuniya is sentimental, too

Chuniya is biased towards children and women;

Witnessing children and women being murdered every day,

Chuniya has come to resent the human civilisation.


But Chuniya does not believe in despair, with all her heart

Chuniya keeps the lamp of hope burning;

Chuniya believes that

putting envy and hatred behind them,

humans eventually will live peacefully with each other.


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