A Heart of Snow | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 25, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:37 PM, January 28, 2020

Poetry

A Heart of Snow

The wind sighs as if upset; the snow’s anxiety is audible

A capricious sky causes a few docile stars to descend

Horse-driven sledges home amidst the din of strewn snow—

Portrait of a deserted highway at the edge of a horizon!

 

Every downpour is unprotected, repetitive;

Every downpour echoes a fiddler’s long-drawn-out tune;

In the dark night the icy tear of foxes sound

Vacant wheat fields are seemingly left to the full moon;

Warming the parlor, fire place firewood crackle—

Courtesy of coffee sips, the aesthetics of indolence!

 

This is how a desolate landscape negotiates a long winter.

Nights are spent alone like a haunted house,

Yet, one feels the foxes of Mary Oliver’s poem

Descend from mountains at moonlight to crunch dead bird bones.

After all, even foxes in the icy cold must survive!

 

Many, having crossed the Atlantic in coffin boxes,

Became martyrs of the snow

Snow isn’t an enemy though of poems on nameless immigrants

Whose fossils are preserved intact by zero degree temperatures

On the contrary, all sing hymns in praise of the inevitable!

Everyone here is its poet; everyone crosses it like Robert Frost once did.

White tears drip-dripping on snowy, sleepless woods.

 

Come this day; let’s write on the melting snow, long drawn out sighs

In the language of hushed trees; come where veiled stars cry out loud;

Come let us strain our ears to hear cries that are muffled;

Come and wake up from sleep slept furtively at moonlight

And look afar. In anxiety-ridden restlessness at midnight,

I for one am possessed by a heart of snow!

 

Kamal Chowdhury is an award winning poet and the Chief Coordinator of the National Implementation Committee for the Celebration of the Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

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Translated By Fakhrul Alam, who is UGC Professor University of Dhaka. 

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