Jibanananda Das

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

If I got an Eternal Life


If I got an eternal life - and then alone go on
walking the paths of the world: I shall see green grasses
spring up and yellow leaves dropp off - watch the sky
clearing as it dawns - and at the dusk, a streak of
blood from a slain Munia clinging to its bosom - and sessions with the stars, time and again that too. I shall see
how an unknown woman makes her way
her loose bun falling apart - ah, her face lacks
twilight's comely touch.

If I really got an endless life - and for eternity
roamed about the world - past a lot of
Trams, buses and dusts - bunch of slums and bazaars - across
swampy lanes, pieces of broken chillum and urn -
a fight here, a quarrel there, squint eyes, rotten shrimps -
Caught sight of so many things all on the way
Except a glimpse of you for once ever in this life.

[Translated by Faizul Latif Chowdhury]

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

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