Shamsur Rahman (23 October 1929 – 17 August 2006 / Dhaka / Bangladesh)
I'll soon be gone, quite alone
And quietly, taking none of you along
On this aimless journey. Useless
To insist, I must leave you all behind.
No, I'll take nothing at all.
On this solitary journey, you're stuffing
My bags for nothing; don't squeeze my favorites books
Into that beer-bellied suitcase.
I won't ever turn their pages.
And let the passport sleep on in the locked drawer.
Only let me have a look at the harvest
From my ceaseless toil, the quietly ripening fruits
Of my talent. But what on earth
Are these wretched things you bring?
Did I lie drunk with smugness in my little den
At having produced this inert, unsightly crop?
My soul screams in mute desolation
At the thought of carrying this sight with me,
I beg you, don't add to the burden of this journey.
[Translated by Kaiser Haq]
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