Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Jhelum Tribedi

Aug 22, 2020 | Poetry | 0 comments

Translated from the Bengali by Moulinath Goswami  

Sitting alone
on the lap of solitary time
The neighborhood closes in

Someone comes and turns on the faucet
The evening water supply–
Water too has its own evening then!

At this very hour, mothers transform into compassion
Gathering the garb of wrinkles from the terrace
drawing emblems of grief in their eyes
keeping the benevolent evening lamp aflame
Every mother turns herself into twilight

Someone memorizes the multiplication tables
shouting them to a tune as he learns…

What comes after the table of two, sorrow-
much like the lips of my unborn girl?


The Sweeper

He cleans the dust that never was
And rubs, and rubs the dirt off some invisible arms
While coming to work
the children had blocked his path
Their eyes the pallor of hay
Their thumbs sucked dry

From their unfed frames that cradled bulbous heads
emaciated arms did stretch out
And said-
come back, please come back home soon

A penny!
is but not just a penny…
Back home his children, soft as a lotus and lily
Eagerly awaits their father, from their nesting penury

He wipes the dust from the cupboard
as if from the lips of his son
Wipes the dust from the racks
as if they were the doomed blemishes of the eyes

No, not dust
its hunger that a father tries to erase

In the house two unscented tender stomachs await…


Jhelum Tribedi

Jhelum Tribedi

[Born in 1984, Jhelum Tribedi is a regular poet of the leading Little Magazines published in West Bengal and Bangladesh namely Setubandhan, Kobi Sammelan, Notun Krittibas, Krittibas Masik, Dainik Ittefaq (Bangladesh), Ekush Shatak, Nandan, Kathak, Hawa 49,Shudhu Bighe Dui, etc.
Two collection of her poems have been published so far

Moulinath Goswami  

Moulinath Goswami  


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