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An Elegy of Fallen Leaves – Poetry from Bangladesh

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An Elegy of Fallen Leaves – Poetry from Bangladesh
Gomti River in Comilla

I am writing a dirge of fallen leaves. While penning it, I become speechless.

Nurul Hoque, a poet, rhymer, novelist, and editor, from Bangladesh, shares his poems.

Nurul HoqueNurul Hoque is a poet, time-conscious rhymer, novelist, and editor. His acquaintance with literature is quite wide. He is skilled at composing poetry, rhymes, stories, and songs. He has been working as a writer for almost three decades. He is praised globally for his tireless work. He is the executive director of Munir Mezyed Foundation for Arts and Culture, Romania. He edited Odyssey International Anthology of World Poets 2020. He is also the chief coordinator of Odyssey International (headquartered in Romania). Hoque was born at Porikot village of Gunabati Union under Chauddagram upazila in Comilla (formerly Tripura) in Bangladesh. He has written several books, 30 of which are well known in his mother tongue, Bengali. Nowadays, his poetry, famed for its elegance and intimacy, covers a variety of themes, chiefly peace, nature, love, womanhood, and divinity. His writing focuses on the importance of English for a multilingual world society and for inter-cultural communication among nations; the need for value-based education for youth in the context of globalization; and fostering peace, fellow-feeling, awareness of ecology, and love for nature. His educational life was full of diversity. He was sometimes a student, sometimes a ration shop worker, and sometimes a manager. He completed his education amid struggles. Shortly after becoming a Diploma Engineer, he joined an international construction company registered in the United States, as an Assistant Engineer in the Karnafuli Hydroelectric Unit 3 construction project. In 1980, after leaving the job, Hoque became unemployed. During this time, he travelled across Bangladesh. He later served as a Chartered Engineer and Project Director of many important projects. Besides contributing to the first-class daily, monthly, fortnightly, and weekly publications of Bangladesh, he regularly practices literature on various international poetry sites and Bangladesh Television. His poetry has been translated into various languages, including Romanian, Taiwanese, Uzbek, Japanese, Spanish, and Chinese. He is an official member of the World Nations Writers’ Union (headquartered in Kazakhstan), which conferred upon him the International Diploma, The Best Poet-Writer of the World, 2018 (www.wnwu.org). He has received numerous international awards for his special contribution to literature. He is the editor of the monthly magazine Amader Buriganga, which is published from Dhaka almost regularly. He is also the founder chairman of Buriganga Foundation Bangladesh.

Maynamati-war-cemetery-Comilla-1AN ELEGY OF FALLEN LEAVES

A wandering wave upstream

A buoyant pull of water downstream

In the middle, there is no one else

Then why do dreams break into pieces?

The grey feathers of time also fall off

What’s the harm if you become a river?

Are women like desiccated, fallen leaves?

They fall aplenty,

Like rivers that change courses and contours,

Lose their flowing pace.

Will you change too?

If you change, then you may do so

The sediment in your abdomen that you have

Accumulated bit by bit,

Will it also exhaust in the end?

No matter if it gets exhausted,

No matter if rivers flow

I am writing a dirge of fallen leaves

While penning it,

I become speechless.

***

images (3)THE PORTRAIT, O THE CLOUD

Having portrayed you perfectly

I have spread you across the world

Lest we should never meet each other again.

When I sit down to write a poem

Your portrait springs to life

And sits on my writing table.

From the two eyes of your portrait falls

A yearning of a universe.

It seems like the portrait wants to say something

But when asked, it flaps its wings

Quickly and replies ‘No,

I’m right beside you,

Just keep on writing.

I stand astounded in amazement

I keep on gauging the depth of pain on its chin

And then, as I keep on writing the poem

I realize the vastness of a Mediterranean storm.

These days and all night long, the portrait

Follows me everywhere

And it keeps an eye on me

At times, the chasing portrait

Turns into a cloud and rains down on my downs

And I start to cry.

With a fringe full of pollens in hand

It looks embarrassed with eyes full of dreams.

I say, O the picture,

O the cloud

I no longer like this superhuman game

Take me back to the volcanic rocks in the hill

***

images (2)I WANT TO DRAW YOU ANEW

I want to draw you anew

I want to write something new

About you, completely anew

With a conviction of creating a beautiful new world.

I want to gather the light of all the virtuous eyes of the world

I want to cast a glow on you,

Your inner self and outer self.

Let them drift in the waves of light endlessly

Let go of anarchy and darkness for good

Let a corps of pensive poets or artists

Walk along the texture of your tress

From one end to another.

Even though I am not a poet

Yet, day and night,

I Study your form and shape

I gently touch your chin.

I want the people of the world

To discover you anew

Let them see in the shadow of a sacrosanct soul

How hatred and violence blend with it.

To portray you in a few lines

Is well-nigh impossible.

Yet, I continue to carve you

With a chisel of words.

____________________

Prepared by Angela Kosta Academic, journalist, writer, poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, translator

 

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