Many Splendored Love

Short poems by Masud Khan, translated from Bengali by Professor Fakrul Alam

Courtesy: Creative Commons

Like when a piece of iron falls in love with a piece of wood 
Causing the iron to float on water,
Or like when the magic of love casts a spell 
Making stone float on liquid,
For ages, in nation after nation, 
People contrive to float stones, 
For diverse reasons and occasions,
Letting love and desire take diverse forms 
In manifold texts and discourses...

A Fragrant Tale

The world is full of misleading, minus signs and foul smells   
At times, the world feels as heavy and unbearable
As the weight of a son’s dead body on his dad’s shoulder,
Or as stressful as playing the role of a dead soldier, 
Or as formidable as a physically challenged person’s ascent up a mountain
Or as painful as caring for a precocious, traumatised child...
Nevertheless, occasionally such stress-laden memories will blur,
And suddenly, wafting on the wind’s sudden mood swing, 
A fragrant moment comes one’s way! 

‘After all words die away, the heart starts speaking.’
When all heartbeats and hullabaloo die down,
Little by little the heart starts fluttering in a distinct metronome 
When all words ends, silence begins to reign.
Where mathematics ends, music begins.

Gradually the Role of the Third Actor Becomes Clear
(Kromosho Spasto Hoye Othe Triteeyo Praneer Bhumika)
Like in magic, in a seemingly miraculous move,
Two strangers will come together 
While a third will have to disappear
To remain awol forever— in reality!

Masud Khan (b. 1959) is a Bengali poet and writer. He has, authored nine volumes of poetry and three volumes of prose and fiction. His poems and fictions (in translation) have appeared in journals including Asiatic, Contemporary Literary Horizon, Six Seasons Review, Kaurab, 3c World Fiction,, Nebo: A literary Journal, Last Bench, Urhalpul, Tower Journal, Muse Poetry, Word Machine, and anthologies including Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (W.W. Norton & Co., NY/London); Contemporary Literary Horizon Anthology,Bucharest; Intercontinental Anthology of Poetry on Universal Peace (Global Fraternity of Poets); and Padma Meghna Jamuna: Modern Poetry from Bangladesh(Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature, New Delhi). Two volumes of his poems have been published as translations, Poems of Masud Khan(English), Antivirus Publications, UK, and Carnival Time and Other Poems (English and Spanish), Bibliotheca Universalis, Romania.  Born and brought up in Bangladesh, Masud Khan lives in Canada and teaches at a college in Toronto.

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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