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Two poems by Khaled Hossain

  • Published at 08:00 pm April 15th, 2018
  • Last updated at 08:34 pm April 15th, 2018
Two poems by Khaled Hossain
Your face is a wonder You said, Your brain is crafted from ice. I said, Not impossible. At times that cold makes me numb. Dumb, too. But your heart is a live volcano. You said. I said, Not impossible. At times I feel it, that I have become ash. In a gentle breeze I am flying far, in every direction. You’re a bit much. You said. I said, Right. All of me is a bit much. Like a pendulum, from ice to fire and from fire to ice is my route. I have never learned to stop anywhere else. You said, I can feel that in your ice there exists some warmth and some cold in your fire. I stared at your face. Your face is a wonder, on one side the sun, on the other the moon.   You’re not a poet If midnight doesn’t scorch you or midday—you’re not a poet. If the handful of water, before it reaches your lips, doesn’t slip through, If you’re not pushed away again and again by your beloved, your lover— You’re not a poet. If most people don’t scrutinize you like a private eye glancing at your unconcerned liveliness If society’s arrows don’t pierce you without cause, If they don’t fear you in their hearts, the tusked drunkard or the pillars of the palace, You’re not a poet. If dewdrops do not waver in your heart If rain doesn’t turn away from you in heartache If flowers do not pale in your shadow And if, in the blood red aura of sunset, you cannot see sunrise, You’re not a poet.
Khaled Hossain is an award-winning poet, fiction writer and essayist, also well-known for writing children’s poetry. He was recently awarded the Agrani Bank-Shishu Academy Children’s Literature Prize. Hossain is a professor of Bangla literature at Jahangirnagar University. Shabnam Nadiya is a writer and translator currently based in California. Her translation of Moinul Ahsan Saber’s novel The Mercenary was published by Bengal Lights Books (Dhaka) in 2016; the US edition by Seagull Books is forthcoming in 2018. Her work can be found at: www.shabnamnadiya.com.