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Sofiul Azam

Worth This Winter

by Ahmed Nakib

And these buildings wearing out this winter’s heart –
each one has long stood like a colossal winter,
limbs of these lie frozen stiff in the fog, their
windowpanes as if chunks of ice – endlessly melting away.
Up on the roof of another, we watch out for all these –
that’s another boulder of winter, too. Overwhelmed,
we all are praising this winter’s loveliness,
with hands deep into pockets, clutching hard
at all of our warm clothes worth any winter.

Down, way down at the basements of these buildings,
people are rushing to the rhythm of insects,
the winter has skidded underneath their feet,
stuck in the ground, in every stride of theirs.

And these buildings wearing out this winter’s heart –
each one has long stood like a colossal winter.

[...] Read more

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The Itching Stays

Conceiving of love as an ocean of felicity, I sprang to bathe in it;
Then looking back, I felt sorrows getting about to wind around me.
I wonder whoever has created this clear-watered lake of love!
My heart’s pretty shaking: here roam the insects of grief forever.
My elders’ reproaches feel as lichens, neighbors as catfishes,
And my lineage like thorny water-chestnuts floating far and wide.
Waterworts my blemishes against me; it’s tough to drink from here.
In and outside of me the itching stays, God brought grief into joys.
Says Chandidas, “O Beautiful, grief and happiness are two brothers;
Grief goes to whoever falls in love with happiness, lured by it.”


Translator’s Note:

I translated this poem by Chandidas a few days back but it’s better for you to count on this translation as a draft on which I may have to work a bit as well. The following information about the poet is from Wikipedia:

Chandidas (born 1408 CE) refers to (possibly more than one) a medieval poet of Bengal. Verse written by at least four different Chandidas have been found, and it is not clear whether they refer to the same person or not. The name Chandidas is usually attributed to Baru Chandidas, who has been more or less indentified as a historical figure born in the 14th century. He was born in Birbhum district of what is now West Bengal. Chandidas wrote the lyrical Srikrishna Kirtan (Songs in Praise of Krishna) .

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