Freedom,You Are | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 17, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 17, 2017


Freedom,You Are

Translated by Kaiser Haq

Freedom, you are

Rabindranath's evergreen verses

and timeless lyrics

You are Kazi Nazrul shaking his shaggy mane,

a great-souled man in the grip

of creative exaltation

You are the bright-eyed crowd

at the Shaheed Minar

on International Mother Language Day

You are the militant

flag-waving demonstration

resounding with slogans

Freedom, you are

the peasant's smile

in a field of lush crops

You are the village girl's

carefree swim across a pond

under the midday sun

Freedom, you are

the sunburnt biceps

of a young worker

You are the freedom fighter's eyes

glinting in the dark

at the desolate frontier

You are the dazzling, sharply-worded speech

of a bright young student

in the shade of a banyan tree

Freedom, you are

the stormy debates

in tea-stalls and on maidans

You are the drunken lashes

of summer thunderstorms

across the horizon

Freedom, you are

the broad chest of the shoreless Meghna

at the monsoon's height

Freedom, you are

the inviting velvet texture

of father's prayer mat

Freedom, you are

the undulations on mother's spotless sari

drying in the courtyard

Freedom, you are

the colour of henna

on my sister's soft palms

Freedom, you are

the colourful star-bright poster

in my friend's hand

Freedom, you are

the housewife's glossy black hair

hanging free

You are the wind's wild energy,

the little boy's colourful kurta,

sunlight on the little girl's soft cheek

Freedom, you are

the arbour in the garden, the koel's song,

glistening leaves of ancient banyan trees,

the poetry notebook, to scribble as I please.

Kaiser Haq's Selected Poems of Shamsur Rahman is available from Pathak Shamabesh.

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