Shakhawat Tipu, Bangladesh


Shakhawat Tipu, BANGLADESH

Heidegger’s knife!

A mother’s poem

The Poems

Heidegger’s knife!

Objects have no worth, they sit as though in sense
Abandoning it all as all languages say, ‘Goodbye, the world!’
They involutes so mean to disappear who knows where!

Languages live tacit, the move silent to the boot like murderers
Now leading you and now following, hard to tell
The killer alphabets do boil in saliva down your throat!

So, pitiful a day today, the he-robber next to the she
Yet no one can take it from the other’s tongue
Pots inside wholesome, alas, the doors just out a window!

The sick warrior is sitting with the bird dead in front,
What strange times we are in, they too lost their tongue
And whoever rides to infinity do not return either!

Sometimes city pigeons groan in fear and cry
Fear the strange, and strange becomes what says the non-dead
Yet non-sense of philosophers turn illiterate like rosary beads!

All languages come home, save Bengali which doesn’t
Alas even when she does she lose her sense, how strange!
All that happen do happen, how come making no sense!

Translated from Bengali to English by
Salimullah Khan and Shakhawat Tipu




A mother’s poem

Why do my eyes gets closed as the sky get blurry?
I get too wet, my tears mix with rain
Lest someone see me cry much for no cause
I try to hide my tears, but why do I even try hide?

Today I look in my mother’s face for no reason
I see my daughter, unable to see eye to eye,
A pale forehead trembling in fearful gaze,
Her black brows wrinkled in a serene rage,
And gnawing teeth breaking the world!
I said: Oh, mother, how would you endure to counter!

‘Dad, why was I born a girl’, she asks in a straight stare;
‘Mom,’ I said, ‘how would I if you weren’t there?’

Translated from Bengali to English by
Salimullah Khan and Shakhawat Tipu




The Poet

Shakhawat Tipu, born in 1971, lives in Dhaka. He is a distinguished poet, essayist and editor from Bangladesh. A prominent figure of the new Bengali poetic movement, Tipu established himself as a leading poet of his generation. His poems have been translated in Greek, Spanish, Italian, Serbian, Slovenian and English. He has published seven titles of poems and a book on a famous Bengali sculptor and her works. Tipu edited Jatiya Shahittya (2008), a magazine of linguistics and philosophy and Charalnama (2011), a collection of street people’s interviews with a subaltern dictionary. His poems appeared in many magazines and anthologies around the world.