This poem compares the birth of Bangladesh to a painting
(Translated by Rifat Munim)
Come visit this country which looks just like a painting
Such use of color, such intense treatment of subject
You’ll never find in any artist’s work; in fact, doesn’t art stand for imitation?
But see how all the materials used to draw this painting are authentic!
Let me be more open to you: this country of ours—
which I serve as the head of the department of tourism—let me be more open,
has recently been given a facelift so that it looks just like a painting.
Under the strict supervision of an artist with a pure Aryan bloodline
three million craftsmen persevered all day and night for nine long months
to create this painting.
Patches of color are unripe in many places, yet have you noticed how deep they are?
Van Gogh—who plucked blue from the sky and golden
from the crops to paint—himself never saw such depths of color, I swear!
And notice this frequent use of skulls—even that implies a deep suggestion;
In fact, what this suggestion contains is the theme
of this painting, in other words, of this painting-like country!
Rifat Munim is literary editor, Dhaka Tribune.