Translation: Imtiaz Mahmud’s Bengali Poetry

Imtiaz Mahmud’s Poems Translated by Shafinur Shafin


On a lonely island in the Andaman Sea, when a sage was outraged because of
A bird’s chirping and wondered how to become more alone
While a man was walking on a street of Jakarta
Through crowd of thousands of people


I have no Eid.
Eleven years ago my Eid was robbed while I was going for 'Namaj'.
That day
I went for prayer putting on punjabi dress like others.
The only exception was a 'tasbih' in my hand. I was so busy
Looking at the tasbih that I could not get for a moment
By that time
I have lost my Eid.
My father had no way
to go to police station and complain.
He consoled me, never mind.
Everyone does not have Eid. You better take my Eid.

I told him, from where will you get one? I have heard that
You lost your Eid, too, when my grandfather was alive.
Father looked blameworthy and then uttered,
You are right, but I've stolen your mother's Eid secretly!


Shafinur Shafin
Dear, I'm very scared,
not well here. They’ve
Taken away
my all bones. And said
Life is beautiful this way.
I rub my body on the soil
Wondering of the bones now
Those who were with me yesterday.
Get the news of
My missing bones
In the river, next to the flowers
Either in the police station or in the morgue
Without the bones
I am not
Feeling well
In this heaven!

*These poems are written originally in Bengali. Imtiaz Mahmud is a contemporary Bangladeshi poet . He was born in 1980 and published eight collections of poetry. He won Krittibash Sahitya award for his collection of poems “Pentacle” from Kolkata, India.

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