Kazi Nazrul Islam

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

The Summer Air - Poem by Kazi Nazrul Islam

Thou art lost in darkness, and I do not find thee,
Between thee and me today is the difference
of seven seas
Today is thy birthday
On the sea-shore of Memory sleepless
grope for the endless darkness That
envelops thee,
It is here that thou art lost whom I found
as a garland lying unclaimed on the path,

Empty was the cool, black water of the bottomless lake,
Why didst thou blossom there like a lotus of pain?
Thou didst radiate the face of the
dark lake,
Agitate the breast of the unruffled wave,
Who is the worshipper that tore off?
What stony floor of what deity is
now covered with thy petals?

The boat laden with the lost treasure
Of the sunset ferry cometh every
morn to return it to the hamlet
of sunrise
I stay on the place,
Where's my treasure, Oh?
The waves of the river mercilessly strike
on my breast,
Amid the rowd, I look for thy ever known
lotus like feet.

Again bloweth the summer breeze
and my mind is in tumult,
Such air once wafted thee to me
Again the black bride of the bees
Sucks the Mahua-honey and gets
intoxicated and the whole forest
of Mahua-trees seems to dance
in ecstasy.

The south wind enamoured of
flowers sends a thrill through the
entire woodland.
I remember Tagar, Chapa, Bel, Chameli, Jui,
Flowers whose branches willingly yielded
to the honey-making Bee
And thou dist smile while bending the branch,
And blush as red as the rose
The land-lily felt proud of a touch of
thy warm cheeks,
The Bakul branch became anxious
and the earth underfeed seemed to tremble

The Nightingale sang the Gaze of Mid-summer night,
At mid-day was heard the wail of the pigeon
The dew-drops lovely as stars
Falling from the cluster of Sajney flowers
Seemed to scatter lumps of
paddy over swinging braided locks.
In the hot air was heard the lone voice
of the king-fisher.

Beneath the peyal tree, a full cup
of honey collected from the Palash flowers,
The wild Santal girl drank while clinging
to the neck of her lover
From behind the scene thou didst see it,
And say, 'I like it'
In thy braided heir I did then put a
Champa flower and on thy lip, honey
And from the branch of a Hizal tree
came the call of a bird;
'0 my bride! Speak out! '

The gallinule shouted and the water-pigeon
danced in the marshy land full of water,
In the sky the sea-gull looking
like two joint eyebrows,
Suddenly to put feet in the water,
The lake of dark-blue water trembled
And the lotus opened her eyes
The vast dark-blue lake seemed
to touch thy large eyes

The languid noon was long
past, now afternoon too is over,
Sleep renders sluggish the feet of the
Ghumti river wearing a string of small bells
The conch is blown in the temple,
Evening descends on the forest,
O, who hath pasted wet darkness
on the branches of the Jhaw tree?
The lyre of the meadow singeth a
fascinating melancholy note

The blossoms themselves become
wild, where are we?
Dost thou put mango-blossom
in thy braided look?
Or dost thou, Dear, wash thy face
again with the cool water of green coconut?
Or dost thou join the separated
eyebrows with the golden fragment
of the butterfly's wings to make them
radiantly beautiful. .

In place of blossoms there appear today
mangoes in many a cluster,.
Rose-berries bursting with rich juice
fall down,
Kamranga fruits take a red hue for
a stout sweet bite of thine
Remembering thy cheeks, the gratefulness
of thy breast
Zamrul fruits full of juice to the brim
cry 'alas' who will appreciate them

From thy eyes I collected looks,
Intending to weave a garland - but
now I miss the thread.
Those looks in the shape of blue lotuses
Fill today the lake of my heart,
The lotus thorn cuts me to the quick,
And my breast is be-decked with
the Sat-nari garland made of tears

I am groping in darkness for the harbour
Where lies my bark,
From across the sea of memory cometh
fragrance from the orange blossoms
In the Shal woods on the outskirts of the hill
Poison-like blue color deepens,
There appears at dusk the moon
looking like Yahudi earring.

Alas! I roam benighted now in another village
Where art thou? Where am I? We met
last in Chaitra last,
The same month again goes way wailing
for thee - Where art thou?
In my throat one voice and ane alone goes wailing
Where dost thou build thy hut?
Dost thou as before keep wakeful
night in expectation of me?
I seek for the lost thread where I first found it,
At the ferry, Dear, I do moor my boat,

Perchance in this boat thou wilt place
thy rosy feet,
Again thy happy, magic touch
Will give the boat a trilling start,
The self-same boat will carry both
to-a-village never-to-be-lost,
At the ferry,Dear, I do keep my boat.

[Translation: Abdul Hakim]


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, May 29, 2012


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