Kazi Nazrul Islam’s Keno Dile E Kanta translated by Professor Fakrul Alam
Born in united Bengal, long before the Partition, Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976) was known as the Bidrohi Kobi, or “rebel poet”. Nazrul is now regarded as the national poet of Bangladesh though he continues a revered name in the Indian subcontinent. In addition to his prose and poetry, Nazrul wrote about 4000 songs.
WHY PROVIDE THORNS Why provide thorns as well as flowers? Wouldn’t lotuses bloom if thorns didn’t prick? Why must fluttering eyes become moist with tears? Why provide hearts if hearts won’t unite? Why do cool wet clouds allure the swallow Only to greet it with thunder and lightning? Why allow buds to blossom if flowers wither? Why stain the moon’s brow with a frown? Why must desire for beauty be mired in lust? Won’t faces look beautiful without the dark mole? Poet, keep imaging bliss in this bower of thorns, While restraining yourself within your moist eyes. (First published in the Daily Star, 2007)
Fakrul Alam is an academic, translator and writer from Bangladesh. He has translated works of Jibonananda Das and Rabindranath Tagore into English and is the recipient of Bangla Academy Literary Award (2012) for translation and SAARC Literary Award (2012).
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