• Tuesday, Jun 22, 2021
  • Last Update : 04:10 am

Song of Twenty-First

  • Published at 01:00 pm February 21st, 2021
February 21

A poem about the Language Movement martyrs

The twenty first of February!

Let’s carry the history of those

Who gifted us the harvest of life dancing on the stalk of death.


A nation oppressed by a reign of terror

Is amazed to see that the night is suddenly over,

Those who brought the light of dawn with their sacrificial blood—

Let’s contain their pride.


Heart throbs in chest devoid of language

Barely taps out a spirited rhythm:

Those who gave us the right to use that language with their lives—

Let’s hold them in veneration. 


The shore of our timid life is now inundated with a high tide

Blessed are we because our brothers

Walked down the path of self-immolation

Where else in history would you find a tale like this? 


Those who with their own lives

threaded millions of lives along

into the harmony of an identical melody

We have absorbed them into our souls.


Today’s scripts will fade away

Yet this nation will hold their memories dear,

Waking up in this morn,

People of this country will take this oath:

The tear-inducing, blood-welling, 

Memory-laden twenty-first of February is upon us again,

The twenty-first of February infusing wild, unbounded energy


Into the doubt-ridden, lifeless souls of ours.


(Translated by Arts & Letters. Reprinted from DT archive)

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