Farrukh Ahmad

(10 June 1918 - 19 October 1974 / Magura / Bangladesh)

The Whistle Of The Magpie Robin - Poem by Farrukh Ahmad

From the impervious dark night's portal
Comes the magpie robin's whistle,
The day's last sun-rays burn wonderfully
On the evening sand,
At the beginning of the unknown night
The whistle of the magpie robin was heard
For the last time−
A shrill whistle, a strong music!
It's a signal for the night and death,
Magpie robin's whistle.

The soft body in black and white
Of that bird! Its throat carries flower-like music,
Music ringing throughout the evening
With the dying sun's splendour;
Opening the throat's fountain it took leave
For the last time with a farewell tune,
With a soft music.
Now the black night trickles down continuously
On its sky, the sad and deadly poison;
The whistle of the magpie robin recedes
Further and further away in the darkness
Leaving behind the horizon.

It's a strong intoxicant only to shake off
Drowsiness with a lullaby,
This music only brings deep silence
On the day's shining towers of long palm and coconut trees
At the corner of the dreadful night,
On colourless palm columns,
On the sky's domes and arches
The night shoots its dark arrows;
The magpie robin's whistle shoots like an arrow.

All colour drops near the horizon with that poisonous deadly arrow
Like the mirror's mercury
Collecting at one corner of the memory
Death's blessings,
The whistle of the magpie robin.

I hear the magpie robin's shrill,
Strong and ardent−
Birds just returning to their nests, light fades off,
And lights are kindled;
The sleeping time vibrates with awakening sharpness
The shrill music of the magpie robin.
On dead trees and branches
Spreading out its light wings
The magpie gives its farewell address
And warns with intoxicating poison:
The whistle of the magpie robin.

The time for sleep is over; the bird
Returns to the forest's end alone
Emptying its music,
Returns to its empty nest.
What nest?
Where its music is covered with death's shadow,
Where the meadow's end has become unfriendly like pebbles
Under the shadow of the night,
Where the skeleton's harmless desire lies prostrate
After pouring out all the agonies of life.
There's the sleeping bird−
The drowsy magpie's shrill slowly calms down.

[Translated by Abdur Rashid Khan]

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Poem Submitted: Friday, March 23, 2012

Poem Edited: Friday, March 23, 2012

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