Original: Jibanananda Das
Translation: Gazi Abdulla-hel Baqui

Jibanananda Das (February 17, 1899 – October 22, 1954), popularly called “Rupashi Banglar Kabi” (Poet of Beautiful Bangla), emerged towards the end of the 20th century, as one of the most popular poets in modern Bengali literature for his extraordinary poetic faculty, unknown poetic diction full of rhetoric, unusual choice of words, luminous images and incomparable indirect expressions paved with an inexpressible sensuality.

I walked the paths of the world a thousand years
From Ceylon seas to Malay waters in the dark of night
I have wandered a lot. In the land of the Vimbisha of Ashok with a long gray past
If I had been there; also in the distant primitive and dark city of Vidharva;
I turned a weary soul, around me the white foamy seas of life,
Banalata Sen from Natore gave me peace for a while.

His hair looks night black like the Bidhisha of old,
His face is of Srabostian art and craftsmanship; when far over the seas
The sailor who got lost with broken oars,
Contemplates with his eyes a green land in the middle of a cinnamon island,
So I saw her in the dark; she said, `where have been so long?’
Looking up from the bird’s nest—Banalata Sen by Natore.

After all the day’s end like the sweet sounds of dew
Evening approaches; the seagull wipes the smell of the sun from its wings;
When all the colors of the world disappear, the manuscript is prepared,
For the love of stories, the hues of twinkling glowworms shimmer;
All the birds return to their nests, all the rivers, the transaction of this life is coming to an end;
Only darkness persists when having to sit face to face with Banalata Sen.

Gazi Abdulla-hel Baqui, a modern poet writing in both Bengali and English, has translated some of the Das poems using appropriate words and phrases. His lucid translation work clearly testifies to a kind of his dexterity which differs from others in the art of rendering the verses because it is very faithful to the original. He thus appears as a potential translator. Dr. Gazi AH Baqui, also a researcher and university professor, is famous for his poetic achievements.—Editor)