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.

Nirmalendu Goon

Nov 26, 2020 | Poetry | 2 comments

The Comparative Hand

Wherever you touch me therein dwells my body
Wherever you let loose your coiffure
and to the earth your hair-washed waters you offer
I stretch my palms to receive, I return home
carrying with me my own self heavy with water
and contents of my sight; Perhaps I do not return
but stay back all round you, soaked in all the emptiness
Wherever you place your hand, wherever you place
your earrings, your unfastened necklace
Therein my body transforms into a red hibiscus
Wherever you place your lips, from your body
my kisses wither and fall in intense apathy.
Like an insect of a rheum I play
daily beneath the shade of your eye
I love you, and so I make myself cry
When you banish me from the helm of your saree
I wait by the street, for a one-on-one with you
leaving my chariot aside. Wherever you place your hand
there rests my longing face. Wherever I place my hand
there pervades an eternal vacuum, and you’re nowhere


Why Are Your Eyes So Red?

I do not ask for love, all I wish for is
someone should wait for me,
only to open the door from the inside.
I’m tired of opening them from the outside.

I do not ask for love, all I wish for is
someone should lay the table for me.
I do not ask for someone to sit and fan me,
I’m aware, this era of electricity
has granted a woman the liberty
from the compulsions of tending to her husband.
All I wish for is someone who would ask
If I need some water, or some salt
If I need another red chili pepper fried in oil
to go with stir-fried leaves of jute.
The chores of washing the dishes and
vests and handkerchiefs, I can do myself.

I do not ask for love, all I wish for is
someone to open the door from the inside
for me. Someone to offer me something to eat.
May not be my partner in carnal desires, at least
someone should ask: ‘why are your eyes so red?’


Translated from the Bengali by Moulinath Goswami

Nirmalendu Goon

Nirmalendu Goon

Nirmalendu Goon (June,1945 – ). Born in Bangladesh, Nirmalendu Goon is one of the finest living poets in the literary sphere of Bangla poetry. Through his poems he has championed the cause of the marginalized people of society, and tried to break the divisive wall between people. His poems speak of love for and faith in mankind. He has published about forty-five collections of poetry and twenty collections of prose.

Moulinath Goswami

Moulinath Goswami

Moulinath Goswami is a Bengali poet who also does translation of Bengali and English poems. He has one collection of poetry named ‘Dayal’. He is a regular contributor to various literary periodicals


  1. Sarmistha Das

    Beautiful poems I liked it very much.


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