Kazi Nazrul Islam

(24 May 1899 - 29 August 1976 / Bardhaman / India)

Hymn To Life - Poem by Kazi Nazrul Islam

I sing of those-
Who deliver to Mother Earth
The message of fruitfulness and bounty,
Whose rough, cruel, worn-out palms
Are filled by the admiring Earth
With the richest offerings of fruits and flowers,
Under whose superb workmanship
This Earth full of wild beasts,
death and decrepitude
Becomes as beautiful and as lovely as a paradise.
These barbarians with awful fearlessness
Build their huts here in company with
The tigers of the forest, lions of the desert
and serpents of the cave!
Those who come as Gipsy boys
With irresistible speed and stupendous force
- They alone sing of a new philosophy of love
Like Jesus, son of Mary the Mother-Earth -
The momentum of whose speed
Makes Earth move like a meteor
With tremendous force
Across endless space!
Those who of their own accord
Under the impulse of a creative nature
Demolish dense forests, root and branch,
And build an Eden thereon:
And again destroy that fair habitation
In sheer indiscretion:
Those who unable to resist
The overwhelming urge of youthful exuberance
Stand erect and embark
Upon the adventure of conquering the Himalayas,
Or are out 'to tempt the dangerous Deep'
Those who launch a campaign
To discover New Worlds beyond the poles.
Those who in search of unknown regions
Fly by the Airships up into the clouds :
Yet their adventurous spirit does not stop:
In an ecstasy of adventure
They fade far away and dissolve
To discover the guarded secrets
Of the Moon, the planets, and the
other Heavenly Bodies.
And the endless etherial sky
Those who call at each door of Death
With their lives as merchandise for sale.
And those who on a perilous field of battle
Stake their life and forfeit it.
I an ephemeral Poet--
Sing of those barbarian Beduins,
Who for naught unfurl
In every age the flag of rebellion,
Who out of the abundance of life
And in an ecstasy of poignant pleasure
Cheerfully drink the Cup of Hemlock
Or plunge a spear into the bosom
Those who like the impetuous
mountain streams of Asarh
Defy and sweep everything before them,
Those who are branded by the mean-minded
As barbarian boors.
Those who are called 'reckless' by men
of narrow outlook
Are indeed the theme of my minstrelsy,
and I do worship them.

[Original: Jibon Bondona; Translation: Abdul Hakim]

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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