Kazi Nazrul Islam

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

Kemal Pasha - Poem by Kazi Nazrul Islam

Brother Kemal, the desperate son of a frenzied mother
Has gone furious; so the devils' dens are full of hue and cry
Looking for self-protection everywhere;
Kemal, what a wonder you've worked!
Ho Ho Kemal, what a wonder you've worked!

[Then the Havilder-Major orders a quick March}

Left Right Left: Left Right Left.
Left Right Left: Left Right Left.

[The soldiers again sing in chorus]

Brother KemaI, the desperate son of a frenzied mother
Has gone furious: so the devils' dens are full of hue and cry
Looking for self-protection everywhere;
Kemal, what a wonder you've worked!
Ho Ho KemaI, what a wonder you've worked!

[Havilder-Major.. Left! Right! ]

Bravo brother!
Bravo to your sharpened sword.
You have sent all your enemies to Hades
in one clean sweep.
Tell me now, who is there on earth
not afraid of Turkish sword?

[Left! Right! Left! ]

Well done, brother, well done!
The coward foes are completely done!
Well done, brother, well done!
Hurrah Ho!
Hurrah Ho!

To sail over the invading aggressor |
We need, indeed, a dashing Kemal; a terror.
Kemal,what a wonder you've worked!
Ho Ho Kemal, what a wonder you've worked!

[Havilder-Major says Bravo to soldiers. Left! Right! Left! ]

Besmearing red-crimson blood from head to toe
Who listens to peace-message of war-shy cowards, - who?
Reddenned with Pindarees' blood
This blue bayonet, sharp and hard,
Born ready to pierce the heart of a foe.

O the envious ones! You are avenged upon, quickly hit.
Bravo soldiers! Bravo!
Trample all those mortal creatures under your feet.
With such a course
With such a force
Trample all those mortal creatures under your feet.
Look, there signals in the sky a blood-red sun, with rays and heat.
Bravo soldiers! Bravo!

[Left! Right! Left! ]

The envious ones have drowned the goodwill of soldiers
Hence they are completely crushed, victory being ours.
Those who loot other's land are plunderers.
Hence they are destined to receive blows and scars.
What do you say, comrades of ours?
Hurrah Ho!
Hurrah Ho'
We need such a mighty Kemal to crush the devilish foe.
Kemal, what a wonder you've worked!
Ho Ho Kemal, what a wonder you've worked!

[Havilder-Major: Right wheel! Left! Right! Left!
Soldiers turn right]

Capturing a tree people, subjugating a free land,
Not caring for the world, you have shown, for a time,
might and strength,
But at the end. you too danced a Turkish dance at our hand.
Hurrah Ho! Hurrah Ho!
The ill-starred have lost their luck; Allah so decreed their lot.
With such a frenzied band they fought.
Hurrah Ho! Hurrah Ho!
Even Allah is frightened, looking at your uncouth mouths, who shout!
They shout, and shout,
Not a hen's strength in their body, yet they bet with Turkish horses,
Ah!
Men conqueror Mollah.
Ha Ha Ha!

Laughter seems to tear my veins, Ha!
Ha Ha Ha! Ha:! Ha:!

[Havilder-Major says Bravo to soldiers! Left! Right!
Left! Bravo Soldiers! Say again, Bravo! ]

Brother Kemal, the desperate son of a frenzied mother
Has gone furious; so the devils' dens are full of hue and cry.
Looking for self-protection everywhere;
Kemal, what a wonder you've worked!
Ho Ho! Kemal, what a wonder you've worked!

[Havilder-Major.. Left wheel. As you were! .. Right wheel!
Left! Right! Left! ]

[Fantastic clolour play of setting sun flashed before the eyes of soldiers.]

Why you look with rapt attention, comrades! Ho Ho Ho!
That's right brother! The evening looks like soldier's bride, a doe!
A martyr's bride clad in crimson attire
Besmeared with fresh blood of her husband dear! -
No no no, - as if livers are sliced into pieces, the livers,
Of thousands of fallen heroes - the body shivers!
Who is that butcher, who hangs the pieces on the grand gate of sky?
I would stab him at his chest, the butcher! fie!
I would chop his head!
I don't know what to do next, I'm so enraged!

[Havilder-Major - Bravo soldiers! Left! Right! Left! ]

[The mountain.-pass 3ith slopes appear. Soldiers go ahead carrying the
dead soldiers and helping the wounded ones]

O my young brothers!
Who is that butcher who slices out the tender young hearts'?
O my young brothers!

[A valley ahead. Havilder-Major.. Left form! Suddenly the soldiers
turn their faces towards left.
Havilder-Major.. Forward! Left! Right! Left! ]

The dress of sky at our sight
Coloured brilliantly with the blood of fight!
So beautiful so great Beat loud and deep the trumpet
Whatever it may be, brother, a Karbala maidan!
We sing of truth, its anthem
Hurrah Ho
Hurrah -

[The mountain-pass ahead. They seem to have lost directions. Havilder-Major
tried' to trace out right direction. Then he orders: 'Man Time'.
Soldiers stand firm and start striking at the ground with their feet. ].

Drum! Drum! Drum!
Left! Right! Left!
Drum! Drum! Drum!

In the sky two big balls of colours floated
One is deep blue, the other deep red.
Borther, the deep blue one belongs to enemy
Who never wishes well of any,
And black blood flows through their veins only
They are fierce, they are beastly.

They are greedy, malicious, they, the band of devils
The ferocious, the band of beasts and devils!
They are tyrant and oppressive
Killing the truth is their only motive
They are tyrant and oppressive!
They defamed the calling of soldiers I
nsulting themselves, not others.
So they are black-faced demons, their blood resembling blue water!
Ferocious band of beasts they are!

[Havilder-Major discovers directions. He then orders.. Forward! Left wheel-
soldiers again start moving - Left! Right! Left! ]

True fighters have sacrificed their lives, and the fake
And the coward have shown their back -
True fighters are, indeed, martyrs!

Conceding heavy blows the coward's back are full of scars
Such warriors they are
that their backs are pierced with spears.
Dead-in-life come to fight? Go to hell!
Haven't you seen a hero's blood? It's warm and red.
You dead-in-life, go to hell!

[So saying, they take out blood by their daggers and show the same]

And they say, they shall become king
Go to hell conceding the beating
Given by Kemal, a martial king.
[Havilder-Major.. Bravo soldiers.}

This is all we want, nothing more!
Living means to live free, nothing more!
All we want is this much, nothing more!

[Some people are seen approaching them running.
Their eyes are full of tears looking at the scene.
This made the soldiers further excited.}

We have done it, brother, done it.
The enemies have fled away on their feet
And the fort is freed. Why repent?
Gone is, what is gone. The fort is freed.
Hurrah Ho!
Hurrah Ho!

[Havilder-Major: Bravo fighters! Left! Right! ]

Step steadily, move apace
Inclining all your bodies
And waving all your hands!
Moving in quick martial tune, making steps one two three
Let us walk like waves of a sea.
We no more want a paradise even, now that the land is free.
Heaven we don't want, we're free.

[Havilder-Major: Bravo soldiers! Say again. O brothers! ]

Brothcr Kemal, the desperate son of a frenzied mother
Has gone furious: so the devils' dens are full of hue and cry
Looking for self-protection everywhere;
Kemal, what a wonder you've worked!
Ho Ho Kemal, what a wonder you've worked!

[The squad passes by a city. Women are casting looks through their veils; their eyes
full of tears of jov. Even the newly wedded brides' shower flowers
welcoming the victorious soldiers.]

Don't you hear them., the band of brides under veils, enquiring
About him, on a wooden chair, riding'?

Don't you know him? So foolish sisters all you are! He is Kemal,
Kemai, he is
The intrepid son of a frenzied mother!
Your brother he is.
Kemal, yes. Kemal he is...
Who else could have so majestic mien? - Kemal he is.

Homes and abodes might be blown and burnt, take care
Of your habitats, take care.
Our blood is boiling, we are bereft of consciousness,
We are excited and furious! Get away from us!
It's our gala night! Kindle flames in every house, everywhere.
Get away from us.
Kindle flames in every house, far and near.

[Havilder-Major: Left form! Left! Right! Left! Forward

Look around! make steps with caution
Lest you trample the dead in your motion!
We shiver seeing the dead
Ha Ha ha!
Those who have died are, indeed, dead.
The survivors live well and fed.
That's the simple equation we know; why sorry?
They fear seeing the dead. Don't get lost, don't worry.
Ha Ha Ha.

[A narro}v and broken bridge ahead. Havilder-Major orders: '
Form into a single line'. The soldiers start crossing the bridge marching slow! ;
They held the dead and wounded friends with care fostering them
with their backs and breasts.]

True, indeed, O my brother!
As we look at the dead comrades, fastened who are
With our breasts, our souls weep for the derailed.
A thunder-hand tortures our souls, makes them sad.
Forgetting all our wounds, we break into tears,
Our souls hard-pressed, souls with scars!

Sleep on, brothers, sleep on our backs and breasts.
Alas! Our souls are full of sighs, though we praise you thus,
Though we say, well done!
My good brothers, well done!
Sleep on, do sleep, in hades,
O my brothers on the other side of setting sun.

Far-off is your destination, across the land of setting sun
Sleep on, my brothers dear and never turn.
O the red bridegroom of death-bride, sleep on.
Alas, your shining moonface nobody kissed on.

O the wretched!
Even on death you have left behind an endless void
In some soul, longing to bloom from human-bud!
Your youth passed in vain, not hugging for a night your beloved.
O the young martyrs of sunny blood! O the wretched!
Even on death you have lett behind an endless void.
So the writers take pens in praise of pleasure of death.
In one line they tell about one million dead, so I smile, in fact.
When their dogs die, they justify their martyrdom,
News flash out in headlines;
But in one line they mourn the soldiers,
ten thousand have given their lives'.

None of one million youths knew if some black eye-lid
Got wet with tears, if somebody paid them heed.
They die and rot in ditches, their mothers and sisters praise them, 'Great'!

Alas! Who on earth sympathises with them in the truest?
Comrade! Your bride who comes along, an evening girl,
in blood-red attire,
Wears the sari of darkness to enter the grave, her bridal chamber.
I can't think of your face turning dust by the dust of grave
O my brothers golden, nothing I can save.

Before final going, kiss us once again,
O my neglected brother Then have slumber on the lap of eternal mother.

[They cross the bridge deposting the bodies of their dead comrades on the ground of motherland. Their blood boil in agitation, they marched on]

Rightly spoken, O my friend
The truth! Let me kiss your hand.
Death they have conquered, why then weep on'?
Ab-Jam-Jam they brought, drinking from the pitcher of poison.
Who died'? Why you weep and fuss'?
Well they have done.
To save the country they gave their lives precious.
So they are true martyrs!
The true heroes have sacrificed themselves in blood-attires.
They are true martyrs!



[They see the camp. The great hero Anwar Pasha advances with his army to recieve the conqueror: Seeing this the soldiers are overwhelmed with joy and start 'Double March'.]

Hurrah Ho!
Hurrah Ho!
Brothers and friends- keep aloof.
Hurrah Ho!
Hurrah Ho!

[The soldier' also start dancing with Kemal Pasha on their shoulders.]

Hou Hou Hou! Long live Kemal, live long!
Kemal, live long!

Who comes near'? Brother Anwar'?
Anwar O brother! Demons are all crushed,
Dance fiercely now! Jump here and there,
Now all the beasts are clear crushed.
Hurrah Ho!
Hurrah Ho!

Things are still far-off! - Hurrah Ho! Hurrah Ho!
Winning the war our souls are expanded much, Salam to you all.
Stop, O stop your dance!
Softly place the wounded ones on ground. Hence,
Stop your dance.

[While placing the wounded]

Brothers there? Yea, Salam to all. Salam!
Lend your ears to Commander Kemal, Kalam!
[The Commander gives his order]
Bravo! Stop! Ho! Ho!
Bravo! Halt! One! Two!

[In no time all the commotion comes to an end. But the refrain of
victory keeps vibrating far into the horizon before melting down
into an endless azure space]

Brother Kemal, the desperate son of a frenzied mother
Has gone furious: so the devils' dens are full of hue and cry
Looking for self-protection everywhere;
Kemal, what a wonder you've worked!
Ho Ho Kemal, what a wonder you've worked.

[Translation: Mohammad Nurul Huda]


Poet's Notes about The Poem

[An autumn evening. The sky is blood-smeared like the field of Karbala. The Greek Army has been completely defeated in the fierce battle fought that day. Most of the Greek soldiers are lying wounded in the battle-field, the rest running away to save themselves. The Commander-in-Chief of Turkish National Armed Force. Kemal Pasha is. triumphantly returning to his camp from war-field. He is surrounded by his victorious army. Every soldier is rejoicing, though none is without some wounds somewhere in his body. Each of them is also carrying one or two dead or wounded friends who fought by his side.

Red caps hung on their bayonets, a group of soldiers are carrying on their shoulder Kemal Pasha, who is seated on a choudul or wooden chair. Their slogans are heard frpm far-off Their eyes full of tears for the victory they have achieved.

Then the soldiers proceed in rows. Havilder-Major prepares to parade them. The frenzied soldiers sing loudly repeating a refrain in chorus hailing - Kemal. the architect of an unprecedented victory that saved Turkey from ruination.

Written in 1921, Kemal Pasha is perhaps the earliest poem written in any language on the great architect of modern Turkey. It is one of the finest dramatic poems ever written in Bengali. The English version given below is somewhat a literal translation, but the amazing music in original Bengali text could not be produced in English. However, it gives the central message of the poem hailing Kemal Ata Turk as the great Saviour of the Turkish people in their victory over the Greek occupants.]

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, June 6, 2012


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