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  • Asad's Shirt--A Poem By Shamsur Rahman, translated by Bhismadev Chakrabarti [Parabaas Translation] : Shamsur Rahman
    translated from Bengali to English by Bhismadev Chakrabarti




    Asad's Shirt

    Shamsur Rahman




    translated from the original Bengali by


    Bhismadev Chakrabarti





    Like crimson poppies in the wind

    Or perhaps like the blood red sunset clouds

    Asad's shirt flutters in the spotless blue sky



    The sister wove a few stars on it

            
    with delicate heartstring

    The mother, ever-loving, put it out to dry

            
    in the golden backyard sun.



    Beyond the gentle shades of the dalim

            
    and the cosy backyard sun

    The shirt now flutters proud

            
    From city streets,

            
    From factories, chimneys, towers

            
    and echoing corners of central avenues

    It flutters, flutters on

            
    To the sun-drenched heartlands

            
    To every march of our souls.



    Our cowardice, our shame, our vice

    Now covered by a single piece of human cloth

    Asad's shirt is now the flag of our lives.




    Published November, 2020







    The original poem [Asad's Shirt (আসাদের শার্ট)] appeared in the collection of poems under the title Nijo Basbhumey(নিজ বাসভূমে), in 1970.



    Translated by Bhismadev Chakrabarti




    Illustrated by Nilanjana Basu. Nilanjana has been regularly illustrating for Parabaas. She is currently based in California.







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