The International Poetry Journal in Bengali and English

Issue 39
Jan-Mar '08

Nirmalendu Goon

A Night in Green Lane

How much do you know of the dark?
How much did you see in a night?
I have seen a night, a quite impressive one,
Falling in Green Lane
Like a drunken maniac stumbling home
At midnight.

I witnessed a palm tree, hit by thunder,
Collapsing to the ground—
I have seen the deepest dark,
Black lightening, as if it was
Negro Club or Angela Davis
Cracked out of her mother’s womb.

Those who argue about the character of night
They do not know you at all.
I felt your force as Adam did at
God’s creating touch.
The shaping hands of night excited me
Like the hands of a man
Making love to a woman.
It kissed me on my quaking throat,
On my bohemian hair, on my shining eyeballs,
And on my lips as a wild woman.
In Green Lane I have seen the latest updates on darkness
Of the universe
With my blood-shaded eyes.

Chitrangoda: the wife of Arjuna, a mythological figure from Sanskrit.

Nirmalendhu Goon (1945 - ) is widely read in Bangladesh. He is the author of more than 30 books of verse and numerous collections of essays, including Ginsberger Shanga (With Ginsberg). He was befriended with Allen Ginsberg while he was visiting New York. As a traveler, he visited many countries, and as a shameless gambler, he set his feet at almost all the major casinos of the world. The Bangla Academy, Dhaka, published his Selected Poems in English translation.

Translated from the Bengali by Hassanal Abdullah

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    Shabdaguchha, A Journal of Poetry, Published in New York, Edited by Hassanal Abdullah.