untitled-1Translated from Bangla by Md. Ziaul Haque.
I go near a tree and utter:
Oh kind tree, can you provide me a poem?
The tree replies, if you can penetrate my bark
And amalgamate with my marrow, then
Perchance you will unearth a poem.
Into the ears of a putrefying wall I murmur:
Oh wall, can you provide me a poem?
The antiquated wall says in a moss-thickened voice,
If you are able to crush yourself into this brick and mortar, then
Perchance you will unearth a poem.
I go near an old man, kneeling down,
Oh aged one would you please provide me a poem?
Tearing apart the curtain of silence the astute voice utters- if
You can carve the wrinkles
Of my face
On yours one, then
Perchance you will unearth a poem.
For a few verses of poetry alone
How long should I kneel down before this tree,
Decrepit wall and the old man?
Tell me, how long?

Shamsur Rahman

Shamsur Rahman was a poet, columnist and journalist from Bangladesh. He had written more than 3000 poems collected in about sixty books of poetry. He is one of the brightest stars in Bengali literature. The central themes of his poetry and writings were moderate humanism, romanticised insurgence of youth, human relationships and hatred towards superstitious beliefs.

Most of Shamsur Rahman’s poems were written in free verse especially with the rhythm mode called Poyaar or Okhshorbritto. He also wrote verses in two other major patterns, Shwarobritto and Matrabritto.

Shamsur Rahman is remembered as a bona fide artist of the Bangali psyche. Shamsur Rahman breathed his last on 17 August 2006, then aged 77, after a 12 day coma following illness of heart and kidneys.