English version of all poems of Nazrul in Masters English Syllabus, 7Colleges Under DU






The Rebel (Original: Bidrohi, 1921)
by Kazi Nazrul Islam
(Translation: Kabir Chowdhury)
________________________________
Say, Valiant,
Say: High is my head!
Looking at my head
Is cast down the great Himalayan peak!
Say, Valiant,
Say: Ripping apart the wide sky of the universe,
Leaving behind the moon, the sun, the planets
and the stars
Piercing the earth and the heavens,
Pushing through Almighty’s sacred seat
Have I risen,
I, the perennial wonder of mother-earth!
The angry God shines on my forehead
Like some royal victory’s gorgeous emblem.
Say, Valiant,
Ever high is my head!
I am irresponsible, cruel and arrogant,
I an the king of the great upheaval,
I am cyclone, I am destruction,
I am the great fear, the curse of the universe.
I have no mercy,
I grind all to pieces.
I am disorderly and lawless,
I trample under my feet all rules and discipline!
I am Durjati, I am the sudden tempest of ultimate summer,
I am the rebel, the rebel-son of mother-earth!
Say, Valiant,
Ever high is my head!
I am the hurricane, I am the cyclone
I destroy all that I found in the path!
I am the dance-intoxicated rhythm,
I dance at my own pleasure,
I am the unfettered joy of life!
I am Hambeer, I am Chhayanata, I am Hindole,
I am ever restless,
I caper and dance as I move!
I do whatever appeals to me, whenever I like,
I embrace the enemy and wrestle with death,
I am mad.  I am the tornado!
I am pestilence, the great fear,
I am the death of all reigns of terror,
I am full of a warm restlessness for ever!
Say, Valiant,
Ever high is my head!
I am creation, I am destruction,
I am habitation, I am the grave-yard,
I am the end, the end of night!
I am the son of Indrani
With the moon in my head
And the sun on my temple
In one hand of mine is the tender flute
While in the other I hold the war bugle!
I am the Bedouin, I am the Chengis,
I salute none but me!
I am thunder,
I am Brahma’s sound in the sky and on the earth,
I am the mighty roar of Israfil’s bugle,
I am the great trident of Pinakpani,
I am the staff of the king of truth,
I am the Chakra and the great Shanka,
I am the mighty primordial shout!
I am Bishyamitra’s pupil, Durbasha the furious,
I am the fury of the wild fire,
I burn to ashes this universe!
I am the gay laughter of the generous heart,
I am the enemy of creation, the mighty terror!
I am the eclipse of the twelve suns,
I herald the final destruction!
Sometimes I am quiet and serene,
I am in a frenzy at other times,
I am the new youth of dawn,
I crush under my feet the vain glory of the Almighty!
I am the fury of typhoon,
I am the tumultuous roar of the ocean,
I am ever effluent and bright,
I trippingly flow like the gaily warbling brook.
I am the maiden’s dark glassy hair,
I am the spark of fire in her blazing eyes.
I am the tender love that lies
In the sixteen year old’s heart,
I am the happy beyond measure!
I am the pining soul of the lovesick,
I am the bitter tears in the widow’s heart,
I am the piteous sighs of the unlucky!
I am the pain and sorrow of all homeless sufferers,
i am the anguish of the insulted heart,
I am the burning pain and the madness of the jilted lover!
I am the unutterable grief,
I am the trembling first touch of the virgin,
I am the throbbing tenderness of her first stolen kiss.
I am the fleeting glace of the veiled beloved,
I am her constant surreptitious gaze.
I am the gay gripping young girl’s love,
I am the jingling music of her bangles!
I am the eternal-child, the adolescent of all times,
I am the shy village maiden frightened by her own budding youth.
I am the soothing breeze of the south,
I am the pensive gale of the east.
I am the deep solemn song sung by the wondering bard,
I am the soft music played on his lyre!
I am the harsh unquenched mid-day thirst,
I am the fierce blazing sun,
I am the softly trilling desert spring,
I am the cool shadowy greenery!
Maddened with an intense joy I rush onward,
I am insane! I am insane!
Suddenly I have come to know myself,
All the false barriers have crumbled today!
I am the rising, I am the fall,
I am consciousness in the unconscious soul,
I am the flag of triumph at the gate of the world,
I am the glorious sign of man’s victory,
Clapping my hands in exultation I rush like the hurricane,
Traversing the earth and the sky.
The mighty Borrak is the horse I ride.
It neighs impatiently, drunk with delight!
I am the burning volcano in the bosom of the earth,
I am the wild fire of the woods,
I am Hell’s mad terrific sea of wrath!
I ride on the wings of the lightning with joy and profound,
I scatter misery and fear all around,
I bring earth-quakes on this world!
I am Orpheus’s flute,
I bring sleep to the fevered world,
I make the heaving hells temple in fear and die.
I carry the message of revolt to the earth and the sky!
I am the mighty flood,
Sometimes I make the earth rich and fertile,
At another times I cause colossal damage.
I snatch from Bishnu’s bosom the two girls!
I am injustice, I am the shooting star,
I am Saturn, I am the fire of the comet,
I am the poisonous asp!
I am Chandi the headless, I am ruinous Warlord,
Sitting in the burning pit of Hell
I smile as the innocent flower!
I am the cruel axe of Parsurama,
I shall kill warriors
And bring peace and harmony in the universe!
I shall uproot this miserable earth effortlessly and with ease,
And create a new universe of joy and peace.
Weary of struggles, I, the great rebel,
Shall rest in quiet only when I find
The sky and the air free of the piteous groans of the oppressed.
Only when the battle fields are cleared of jingling bloody sabres
Shall I, weary of struggles, rest in quiet,
I the great rebel.
I am the rebel eternal,
I raise my head beyond this world,
High, ever erect and alone!
Courtesy: Mohammad Nurul Huda. Poetry of Kazi Nazrul Islam in English Translation [Dhaka: Nazrul Institute, 2000). pp. 12-16.

Beware My Captain - Poem by Kazi Nazrul Islam
You have to cross the darkness of the night
A desert vast and a hill of great height,
And an ocean, fathomless and dark.
Travellers, beware and look sharp.

The boat is trembling,
The water is swelling,
The sail is torn asunder,
And the boatman is losing his way,
Who will sit at the helm at this hour?
Who has the courage and the power?
The future calls your,
Come forward, all who are bold and true.

The night is dark, the storm is great,
You must look sharp, there is no time to hesitate.
You must make haste or it would be too late
To ferry the boat across the other side.
The night is dark, Be your own guard.
your, soldiers of the country,
Age old grievances have declared a fight,
The deprived heart is demanding its right.
You must take them along, the poor and the weak,
You must make them strong, no longer mild and meek

You must lead them to victory.
O Captain, my captain,
The helpless nation is going under water,
It does not know how to swim.
I shall watch tonight
Your determination, grim yet bright,
To free the country from slavery.
'Are they Hindus or Muslims? '
Who ask this question, I say.
Tell him, my Captain,
The children of the motherland are drowning today.

Doubts assail the mind of the travelers still,
There is thunder in the sky and danger over the hill.
Captain, will you lose the way
And leave us in the lurch?
You must not waver or sway,
You must carry on the march.

Those who sang the victory of life
With the nose of the gallows round their neck
Come and gather round quietly today.
What price do you pay for that, friends,
What sacrifice do you make?
It is a test, dear Captain,
Do you save the country or the cast at this hour?
The boat is trembling,
The water is swelling,
Beware, my Captain, beware.
'Man' By Kazi Nazrul Islam - Poem by Sayeed Abubakar
I sing the song of equality—
There's nothing greater than man,
nothing more majestic than man.
There's no difference of country, age and person;
There's no partition in religion and caste;
Man is man's kinsman throughout all ages
in all countries, in every house.

‘O worshipper, open the door!
The god of hunger is at your doorstep
and it's the time to worship! '
Awakened by such a dream, the agitated priest
opened the door of temple.
Surely he might be a king today
with the boon of god, he thought.
A wayfarer with shabby dress whose body is thin
and hungry voice is feeble, said, ‘Open the door, o Father;
I have been hungry for seven days.'

Suddenly the temple got closed; the hungry man went back.
It was dark night; the gem of his hunger burnt on his way.
The hungry man said loudly, ‘O god! That temple
belongs to the priest, not to you.'

Yesterday there was sweetmeet at mosque;
immense meat and bread remained uneaten;
That's why, the mollah is overjoyed.
At that moment, a traveller came wearing shabby dress
and said, ‘O Father, I have been unfed for seven days.'
Getting annoyed, the mollah said, ‘What a botheration!
You are hungry—then die going to the ground for dumping dead cows! O chap, do you say your prayers? '
The hungry traveller said, `No, Father! '
The mollah shouted, ‘Then o rascal, get out! '
Carrying meat and bread, he locked the door of mosque.
The hungry traveller went back
and said walking, ‘O God! I have lived for eighty years
and never called upon you. Yet you have never
deprived me of my food. Now in your mosque and temple
there's no right of man. Mollah and priest
have locked all their doors.'


Where are you, O Genghis, Mahmud of Ghazni
and Kala Pahar? Break down
all the locked doors of the house of worship!
Who shuts the doors of the house of God?
Who puts locks on them?
All its doors will remain unlocked—strike them
with hammers and crowbars.

O the House of God,
the hypocrites sing of the victory of their self-interest
climbing over your minaret!

Having hated human beings, who are they
kissing the Quran, the Vedas, the Bible? Fie! What a shame!
Snatch away those scriptures by force from their mouths.
The hypocrites are worshipping books by killing those
who have, in fact, brought these books on earth!
O the ignorant, listen: it is man who has brought the books;
books have not brought any man.
Adam, David, Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Mohammad,
Krishna, Buddha, Nanak, Kabir—all are the treasures
of the world; they are ours forefathers; their blood,
more or less, runs through our veins.
We're their children, kinsmen—we're of the same body;
who knows when some of us may become like them!

Don't laugh, my friend! the self within me
is fathomless and infinite;
Do I know or does any body know
who the great exists in me?
Perhaps Kakli is emerging in me, Mahdi and Jesus in you;
Who knows what is one's limit or origin?
Who can find one's trace?
Whom do you hate, O brother,
whom do you kick?
Perhaps God resides day and night
within his heart!
Or prhaps he is nothing—not great, not of high esteem;
He is just covered with filth, badly wounded
and burning in the flame of sorrow;
Yet all the holy books and houses of worship of the world
are not as holly as that tiny body of him!
Perhaps in his semen, in his cottage
someone will be born unmatched in the history of the world.
Perhaps he who will deliver such a speech the world has not
yet heard and whose great power the world has not yet witnessed is coming in his house!

Who is he? A Chandal? Why do you startle?
He is no despicable being.
He may be Harishchandra or Shiva of crematorium.
Today Chandal but tomorrow he may be a great yogi-emperor;
Tomorrow you will come to him with offerings
and sing of his eulogy.
Whom do you neglect as a shepherd? That negligence
plays on someone's flute.
Perhaps Gopal of Brojo has come in a shepherd's disguise.

You hate a man for being a peasant!
Observe whether father Balarama has come
in a peasant's disguise.
All the prophets were the shepherds of lambs;
they ploughed too, and those very men
carried the eternal messages which exist till now
and will exist for ever.
Every day begging men and women turn away from each door;
Perhaps Bholanath and Girijaya came among them—
we could not recognize.
You were in fear you would lose your wealth if you gave alms;
That's why, you made your doorman beat the beggar
and thus you chased away a god.
That beating are recorded and who knows
whether you are forgiven by the humiliated goddess!
O friend, your bosom is full of greed,
your two eyes are full of self-interest;
otherwise you would see
the god has become a coolie to serve you.
O beast, will you plunder the god within a man's heart
and the nectar churned out of his pain to appease your hunger?
Your Mandodari the food of your hunger knows well
in which location of your palace lies your death-arrow.
O beast, through the ages, your desire-queen
has dragged you into your death-holes.


Translation: 3/3/2016 Sirajganj
Topic(s) of this poem: humanity
Form: Didactic Poetry


[Translation: Kabir Chowdhury]



Of Equality And That Happy Land
Kazi Nazrul Islam
Translated by Kabir Chowdhury
Of equality and that happy land,
Where all artificial differences are resolved,
Where Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians
Are brought together in loving unity,
I sing.
                   
What art thou? A Persian, Jain,
Or Jew? A Santal, Bhil, or Garo?
But whatever thou mayst be, even if thou
Wouldst carry in thy head or in the back
The rich load of all the scriptures of the world,
Or if thou wert versed in all the wisdom
Of the Qur'an, the Vedas, The Bible, The Zend-Avesta
And the Granta-Sahib, I would forewarn thee, friend,
That thy labors would be all in vain.

For is it not folly
To waste weary hours bargaining in a dingy store
While fresh flowers blossom by the road side
In splendid glory? Comrade, in thee
Lie the wisdom of all ages
And the knowledge of all books.

The truth rests in thy soul.
Thou art only to look for it,
And thou wilt see the prophets divine
And the quintessence of all religions

Holding their sway in thy bosom.
Thine heart is the shrine of all gods.
Why the dost thou wonder
In search of hermits and sages,
Or pour over the carcass of dead scriptures?
From His quiet seat in thy heart
he smiles serenely.
                                        
My words, comrade, are not false.
Princes bow down before this temple, this heart,
Which is the sublimest shrine?
It is Beneres, Mathura, Vrindavana, Bodhgaya, Jerusalem,
It is Medina and the Ka'aba,
Whatever thou wouldst call.
It is the mosque, the temple, the church,
Where Jesus and Moses found the eternal truth.
From this field of war the young Krisna
Sang the great Geeta and in this meadow of the soul
The shepherd prophets of the old made God
A friend of their own.
Sitting in this cave of meditation
Saint Shakya heard the call of suffering mankind
And gave up his throne.
in the depth of this shrine
The darling of Arabia heard the call,
And from here he sang the Quran's
Song of equality.
       
My words, comrade, are not false.
There is no greater temple or house of god
Than this heart of man.


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