Jibanananda Das

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

The Song Of Life - Poem by Jibanananda Das

Lying upon the stretcher perhaps fog clogs your eyes
Don't worry, death is not another unjust light;
How come then so many people embrace death,
craving a torch like flying ants?
Why would then men compose so many slokas
to make a ladder to the heaven?
Death today; but did not the matador die in Spain?
He fought like a hero in the sunlight
thinking himself undefeatable
Suddenly he plunged into an eternal night. Yet a Haryal
Verily a Bengal bird accepts death as
the row of bullets appears like a horizon.

Yet we embrace day-light like an alcohol dealer
Fill in the goblet; -
It seems compass, seas, sunlight
Life in effect wiser than death.
They are dead; crumpled between layers of the earth.
Still life gobbles up sun spots - privately like a sun.

[Translated by Faizul Latif Chowdhury]


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2009

Poem Edited: Friday, March 23, 2012


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