Abul Hussain

(15 August 1922 - / Khulna / Bangladesh)

The Ancient Mariner - Poem by Abul Hussain

He was outside his porch, all crumpled up,
Eyes shrunken, weather-beaten, bent and weak,
Coughing, hands trembling, puffing hard
At his old hookah, when the siren's wail
Reached him, a long and ripplingnote, across
The lake at Chapiagachi and the docks,
Over the rows of trees at Hanna, like
Soft music from an old piano which
Breaks in upon the calm of villages
Nestled among tall trees.

The twilight skies
Darkened; a flock of wild geese flashed as they
Flew past.

The sailor stirred; he felt a throb
In his old heart, and his eyes glistened. He
Was back once more on his boat on the seas
Manning the steering wheel. Around him stetched
The waters for to the horizon's end,
Treeless, without a sign of land. Ice floats
Glinted in sunlight, white, red, blue, dark brown,
Changing in colort, he among them, eyes,
Fixed on the sea.

The scene returned; he thought
Of dreams he's dreamt amid those winds and waves.

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Abul Hussain's mariner is a bent figure, asthmatic and almost half-blind, and his dreams-the dreams the siren's wail revives- are associated with the distant seas he has known in the course of his travels.

Taken from The New Spring, Translated by Syed Sajjad Husain.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012



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