• Monday, Oct 26, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:28 am

Two poems by Mohammad Rafiq

  • Published at 11:15 am October 9th, 2020
Two poems by Mohammad Rafiq

Poetry in translation

(Translated by Rifat Munim)

 

Kirtinasha*: (N)

 

how far will Kirtinasha go, getting all drenched like this?

is there an end to floods in this country? to rain and the clouds?

waves of hair spread across her back, getting all soaked up

blades of chill-stricken rain pierce her entire body;


tonight, hundreds of thousands of crocs climb up on the banks 

burning with desire, they devour each other in wild kisses and embraces

tonight, shoals of fish in their thousands swim in agitation 

ransacking through the waters, moaning in agonising hunger;

 

how far will Kirtinasha go, getting all burnt like this?

is there an end to droughts in this country? to epidemics and corpses?

waves of the sari that wind around her body are pale and torn in so many places

while the greedy eyes of the sun blaze down, fully grown and ruthless;

 

how far will Kirtinasha go like this, full of woes and miseries?

this body will expire and its flesh be torn into pieces

 

Kirtinasha: (F)

 

sin, it seems, great sin has been committed

out of the body of a young virgin

emanate the moans of wind, severe reproach

the wrath of roiling, giant waves


thatched with grass are these small huts

filled with words, their windows remain open

a few strands of flowering grass on the sand dune

are uprooted by the pull of a tide

 

the delicate textures of segun, gojari, tamarisk

are shattered in a moment

all too familiar is this domestic life

this soaked soil on the chest, this path beneath the feet

 

the far lines of the horizon are gripped by ruin

disgrace threatens like rolling waves

along the bank sweep intense pain and anger 

suppressed cries, roars of destruction

 

suddenly a robber forces a kiss

the sea roils and thunders in pain

body of the sixteen-year girl squirms

what sin is this! what great sin!!

 

*It denotes the river Padma. But in the book, Kirtinasha, in which every poem is named after a Bengali alphabet (e.g. Ka, Kha, Ga, Gha), this word sometimes symbolizes the whole country wrecked by floods or droughts, or a young woman who rises in protest just like the Padma during the rains. 

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