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Jibanananda Das

(17 February 1899 – 22 October 1954 / Barisal / Bangladesh)

Ghostly


Once in a starry night sprawling on the cloud's edge
It occurred: am I a soul—or merely a ghostly spirit?

Under the moonlight of a desolate sea I discern
White bones of the wind drift like silvery sands;
On a second look over the meadows I spot
A ghost standing out there
This world as if its cave to muck around.

Then I, raising face from a star to a farther star,
Become quiet, realizing my soul's puny wisdom—
And grieve over the inseparable ghostliness
of the moon and the wood
Like foxes who, chasing rabbits on a moonlit Autumnal night,
Suddenly chill to the bone, caught in humanly remorse.

[Translated by Faizul Latif Chowdhury]

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2009
Edited: Friday, March 23, 2012

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