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Category: Poetry in Translation
Title: Midwinter
Poet: Tomas Tranströmer
Source book: The Great Enigma
Original language: English (Translated from Swedish by Robin Fulton)
Year of publication: 2006

শংবান্নবা মপাক অমা
ঙাল্লী ঐগি ফিদগি।
নিংথম ময়ায় চবূক।
উনগি তেম্বোরিন জ্রিং জ্রিং।
মখোল থোক্তবা তাইবঙ অমা
অকায়বা মখুল অমা
মদুদগি লোন্না পুথোকই
অশিবা মী ঙমখৈ লান্না।

Category: Poetry in Translation
Title: The Burial of the Dead
Poet: T. S. Eliot
Source book: The Waste Land
Original language: English
Year of publication: 1922

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I went where my daughter found home.
There they whisper silence into each other’s ears,
so delicate that the beginning of sound
begins to null it or exclude you from it.
They hug with shadowy arms so immaterial
a dove’s down would spoil it as waking ends dreams.

Beautiful as beauty, she lay there asleep among playthings,
a tiny hand on the heaving chest holding a hare
in total sleepy forgetfulness.
Playthings like those left unplayed with at home,
rocking in an unrocked craddle.

Struggling to speak silence, if not whisper, into the tender ears,
my lips spelled nothing letter by absent letter.
Nothing, much less than emptiness full of my sweet girl.
Oh! Tight in my absent arms, pressed hard to my absent heart,
kissed by my absent lips so awkwardly confused,
with drops of my absent tears falling through her face,
she lay there quiet, we unware now of each other’s worlds
far apart like two heads lying on the same pillow
dreaming two parallel dreams stretching into infinity
like railway tracks lying waste bridged by no train.

Neighbors close as just separated by a wall,
the distance between sound and silence is infinity.

1. Spool of Roads to Sky

All roads to the sky lead to a broken bridge,
a part jutting into space and the rest a bunch
of tissues and sinews dangling over an abyss,
beyond, no resumption of the road in the mist.
(This can’t be the sky. You hate it if it is.
It’s a shocking realization of a wasted life
to find the object of your lifelong search disgustful.)

A plate on a pillar, above the baseboard,
looking like a covenant, verdigrized and mossed over,
and half-hidden behind bushy multifid leaves
of one of the rooty trees clinging on to the bank
with the unconcern of a know-it-all monkey.
Scraping off the green, the time capsule riddles
in Stone Age hieroglyphs, its few strokes deciphered
hard by a long liver saint who knew nothing
for he was conceived just yesterday, a score centuries ago
before the birth of Muhammad, the Prophet:
“The earth remains an earth.
How high a mountain…
it slopes down to its own foot
on the other side…
If you didn’t know you could
…where you came from,
take flight from here…if…need…wings.”

Roads lead not to hell nor to heaven.
Roads spool the ways around the round world.

Casting Helen wormed on a hook
from a bank of two rivers.
Now left and then right.

A thousand shipsful of future,
a thousand shipsful of the past.

My rattling creel overflowing with fish
a millisecond thin, broad as the day, long as time,
jumping and the red gills gasping
for time dissolved in the rivers,
parched in the desiccated mix of times.