Jibanananda Das

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

To Her Steady Lover - Poem by Jibanananda Das

There is no meaning in living—I don't say this.
There is meaning for some, may be for all—may be a perfect meaning.
Yet I hear the white sound of wind-driven birds
In the water of the distant seas
beneath the burning summer sun.

The candle burns slowly, very slowly, on my table;
The books of intellect are more still—unwavering— lost in meditation;
Yet when you go out on to the streets
or even while sitting by the window side
Will you sense the frenzied dance of violent waters;

Right beside that a book of your cheeks; no more like a lantern,
Perhaps like a conch-shell lying on the beach as if ocean's father
It is also a music by his own merit—like Nature:
caustic—lovable—finally like the most favourite entity.

So I get the taste of expansive wind in the airing
of maddening grievances;
Otherwise in the mind's forest the python coils up around the doe:
I feel the pitiable hint of a life like that in the Sceptre of protest.
Some glacier-cold still flock of Cormorants will realize my words;
When the electric-compass of life will cease
They will eat up snow-grey sleep like polar seas in endless grasp.

[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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