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.

Nabaneeta Dev Sen

Jan 15, 2021 | Poetry | 0 comments

Translated from the Bengali by Nandana Dev Sen


When night falls
I search for him
I bring him home
I look him in the eye
And I cage

When day breaks
Once again the world
Wraps around my eyes
And off he flies
Taking each word
That alphabet bird


Broken Home

Once again you glow, on the brink of love
Once again you’re dazzling in heartbreak
Is it for the sake of poetry, then,
Once again you’re hunting for pain?

Do you break your home just for poetry,
Time and again?


Growing-up Lesson

Boy, are you scared of bloodshed?
Are you terrified of plucking virginity?
If the taste of blood goes to your head,
Do you fear that it will be a calamity?
The truth is, whether wrong or right,
Your blood calls out to you each night.

Listen, boy, it’s time for you to grow.
Words can be as fierce, don’t you know?
The treachery that lingers on tongue tips –
Beyond the world that all your dreams show,
Know that blood can be easily shed by lips.


In Poetry

Stay alive
Show yourself clearly
Like the unfailing passport photo
Stay awake in every line, you,
Like an unquenchable thirst
Yes, you,
The pain that tears my heart apart,
Show yourself clearly
Like a flower in full bloom
Don’t hide from me

As long as I live in poetry.

Nabaneeta Dev Sen

Nabaneeta Dev Sen

Nabaneeta Dev Sen was a renowned Bengali poet, but equally popular in every genre, including novels, short stories, literary criticism, travelogues, plays, humor, narrative non-fiction, political columns, and children’s literature. Educated in Presidency College and Jadavpur University in Kolkata, and then at Harvard, Berkeley and Indiana Universities, Dr. Dev Sen was an equally acclaimed international scholar and feminist, and a Professor of Comparative Literature. Her many literary honors include the Padmashri, Sahitya Akademi Award,  Bangla Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Guild. Dr. Dev Sen was the Founder and President of the Women Writers’ Association, Soi.

Nandana Dev Sen

Nandana Dev Sen

An award-winning actor, writer, and child-rights activist, Nandana Dev Sen has authored six children’s books, translated into 15 languages globally. She grew up in India, England and America, and has starred in 20 feature films. Nandana‘s first book “Kangaroo Kisses” was selected by 320 UK nurseries as a “Book of Excellence,” and her in-person workshops have been boisterously loved by more than 30,000 young people across the world. Nandana has been invited to present and read from her books by numerous international literary festivals Nandana is the Ambassador for Child Protection for Save the Children, India


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