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Song of the homeless

  • Published at 07:51 pm August 10th, 2018
shamim reza

A poem by Shamim Reza

(Translated by Zaynul Abedin)


Secrecy, Oh Secrecy!

In the feint of an embrace 

You have stabbed me in the back. 

Secrecy, Oh Secrecy! 

I could never divulge the truth! 

The wound sustained has gradually healed up 

Leaving open the scar of a frozen gash in the inbox.

This Fatehpur, this Sikri, 

Akbar-Anurag-Birbal-Tansen-Abul Fazl

Amritsar, Morichjhapi, 

Jessore Road, Shahpori Island—

All are well-known perilous roads, so to speak. 

If belief misleads, 

Who will demystify politics to me?


Secrecy, Oh Secrecy!

I could never divulge the truth. 

Some names are emblazoned on the school gate, 

Some scribbled in the murderer’s pocket diary

Some engraved on the grave in the cemetery 

Some erased in the flow of the Padma

Some carved out in the bed of the Seine River

Oh the Holy Month of Ramadan, 

Oh the Holy Night of Shab e Qadr

If Emperor Akbar’s secular name is engraved 

In the Ilahi scroll,

Mine is in the current of love.

Secrecy, Oh Secrecy!

I could never divulge the truth! 


Zaynul Abedin teaches English at the University of Dhaka.