Many words are written every year in remembrance of the spirit of ’71. For all our essays, reports and opinion pieces on the legacy of the Liberation War, a certain texture of the history is nevertheless lost amidst the grand political narratives being crafted.
Bangladeshi poetry has always been sensitive to socio-political issues and public themes. In discussing the poetic response to the Liberation War, therefore, it is useful to start with the broad historical background, move on to the literary tradition, and then consider the poetry itself.
Notun Bazar was burning, burning! /Shops, stores, woodpiles/ Piled up iron, timber, mosques and temples/ Notun Bazar was burning, burning!
It was noontime when I arrived home the sun was shining bright
I smell corpses rotting in the air to this day
As bird flocks take wing at the rattle of Sten guns
In west Texas, oil froths luxurious from hard ground while across Bangladesh, bayoneted women stain pond water blossom.