O The Cowboy

O The Cowboy elegy

Photo by LTB_L`6`6 Y


Hundred years ago, where were you?
When your mother was a little girl
growing like a pine tree, did anyone conceive
a hero-like man was hidden in the folds of the her body
resembling a pan swelling up with heated date juice?

Or did your dad- as a vulture from the high sky
searches for a dead cow- nose out the scent
of your existence in the rolls of your mother’s body
while unfolding her like a sari in the pitch-black darkness
of her youth?
If the case was so, where were you then?

Hundred years hence
where will you be like the smoke of a cigar?

Love existed on earth
when you were out of existence.
Then darkness like a wrestler, too,
played the mysterious game with the alien light.
Then women- having spoken of hearts- spent nights
wet with lust beside men blind with love.
When you pass away from the earth,
stars will bloom like flowers,
then women, too, like the playful ducks,
will swim in the lilting sea of night
with their bodies uncovered and undressed.
But you think, no woman in absence of you
any longer becomes a mother,
in absence of you all sports on earth
get stopped for ever like a clock out of order.

Nowhere you’ve seen any undying tree, o the cowboy
nor you’ve seen any deathless lamb;
then why do you want to capture in your fist for good
the breast of earth degraded with rapes since her birth?

[Translation of Bangla poem ‘He Rakhal’ taken from the poet’s first
book ‘Pronoyer Prothom Pap’ (1996) ]

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Sayeed Abubakar

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Sayeed Abubakar, a contemporary poet of Bangladesh, is regarded as the major poet of the 90th decade. He was born on September 21,1972 at Rambhodrapur, Panjia under Keshabpur upazila of Jessore district, Bangladesh. His father was Nur Mohammad Biswas, a renowned social worker and mother was Amena Khatun, a devoted homemaker.Literary Life:Sayeed Abubakar started writing poems at a very early age. He was then only 11. Many of those poems were published in the local newspapers such as `The Daily Sphulingo' and `The Daily Ranar'. In those days he used to compose 60-70 poems every day, for he was determined to defeat Rabindranath Tagore by the number of poems. Reason is that Rabindranath started writing poems at his 8 years and Sayeed Abubakar started at his 11 years. Really it was a peculiar silly attempt of a young poet. Later he realized his mistake. But it helped him to be skilled both in rhymes and rhythm at the early stage of his life.He did not stop running after poems ever. Actually poetry got mixed with his blood and soul. As a student, he was very brilliant. He passed his School Secondary Certificate(SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate(HSC) examinations in First Division in 1987 and 1989 respectively. He obtained BA(Honours) in English Literature in 1992 and MA in English Literature in 1993 from Rajshahi University successfully. Just after completing his student life, he joined the popular national fortnightly magazine `Palabadal' as a sub-editor. He edited this literary magazine from 1998 to 1999. Suddenly he left Dhaka city for Chittagong to join Faujdarhat Cadet College as a lecturer of English. The hills and the Bay of Bengal attracted the poet very much but the strict routine-bound life of cadet college did not suit him. He left Faujdarhat Cadet College in 2003 and joined Govt. Lalon Shah College passing the prestigious BCS examination. He is now an assistant professor of English working at Sirajganj Govt. College, Sirajganj. But not a single day he forgot his mission of writing poetry.In national daily his poem was first published in 1988. Then he was a student of class XI at BL Govt. College in Khulna. While in Rajshahi University, he completed composing some of his best lyrics. All those were published then in all the most popular national newspapers and national magazines like the Ittefaq, the Sangbad, the Dainik Bangla, the Inqilab, the Pakkhik Shoily, the Sachitra Bangladesh etc. His first book of poetry `Pranoyer Prathom Pap'(First Sin of Love) was published in 1996. It attracted the attention of the famous living poets. This very book made him famous as a poet in Bangladesh. The second edition of `Pranoyer Prathom Pap' was published in 2008. Now he has eight books of poetry in the market. Many of his poems have been translated in English and Spanish.The famous publishing Company of USA, I-Proclaim Press, published his two books named 'Anthology of the World Poetry' and 'The Golden Kabin' (Translation of Al Mahmud's 'Sonali Kabin') in 2010. The famous publication of UK, Bubok, has published his 'Selected Poems: 2010-2012'in 2013.He is the editor of an English little magazine named 'Bangla Literature'. Modern Bengali literature is presented here in English for the world readers.Poet Syed Ali Ahsan, Syed Ali Ashraf, Al Mahmud, Abdul Mannan Syed, Nazib Wadud, Hasan Alim, Khurshid Alam Babu, Abdul Halim Kha, Mokbul Mahfuz, Taufik Zahur, Dr Fazlul Haq Tuhin, Ahmad Basir, Hosne Ara Beauty, Shahin Saikat and others have written articles on this great poet. Al Mahmud has written essays two times on this poet, which is a rare incident in the field of modern Bengali poetry. Poet Al Mahmud in one of his essays written on Sayeed Abubakar says: 'I got surprised while reading his poems published in newspapers.' Abdul Mannan Syed says, 'Sayeed Abubakar is a real poet from top to toe.' Once reading his first book `Pranoyer Prathom Pap' poet Khurshid Alam Babu had declared in one of his easays: 'It is high time we declared that Sayeed Abubakar is the greatest young poet of Bangladesh.'Awards:1. Shabdoshilon Award 2008 2. Lalon Award 2009 3. Panjia Sahitya Sommelon Sommanona 2010 4. Challish Bachhar Purtite Utsanga Srijan Chintan Sammanona 2012 5. Sristishil Lekhoksongho Sammanona 2014 6. DCL Literary Award 2015 7. Banglar Kabita O Sahitta Forum Award 2005 [taken from the hands of Finance Minister of People's Republic of Bangladesh Abul Maal Abdul Muhith.Sayeed Abubakar's Works:Poetry: 1. Pranoyer Prothom Pap(First Sin of Love) [1996, Palabadal Publication, Fakirapool, Dhaka; 2nd edition 2008, Ittadi Grantha Prakash, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka] 2.Julekhar Shes Jal(Last Trap of Julekha) [2004, Palabadal Publication, Fakirapool, Dhaka; 2nd edition 2011, Parilekh, Rajshahi] 3. Sada Andhokarey Kalo Josnai(Into White Darkness and Black Moonlight) [2006, Ittadi Grantha Prakash, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka] 4. Mesopotemiar Mme(Mme of Mesopotemia) [2007, Parilekh, Rajshahi] 5. Bongatey Bosoti(Dwelling in Bengal) [2008, Ittadi Grantha Prakash, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka] 6. Ebar Ektibar Eksathey(Now Altogether for Once) [2010, Ittadi Grantha Prakash, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka] 7. Kapatakkha Parer Roddur(Sunrays on the Banks of the Kapatakkha) [2012, Ittadi Grantha Prakash, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka] 8. Kagoj Kusum(Paper-flowers) [2014, Mahakal, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka] 9. Tumi Balo Tumi Bristi Valobaso [2015, Parilekh, Rajshahi] 10. Shrestha Kabita [2015, Ittadi Grantha Prakash, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka] 11. Selected Poems: 2010-2012 [2013, Bubok, UK] 12. Poemas de Sayeed Abubakar: un Poeta Bengali[Sayeed Abubakar's poems in Spanish translated by Lorena Lopez Velazquez] [2013, Bubok, UK]Prose: 1. Kabita Kamal (Lotus of Poetry) [2006, Ittadi Grantha Prakash, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka]] 2. Kabitar Adhunikata (Modernity of Poetry) [2010, Siddikia Publications, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka].Children Literature: 1. Chharachhari [2009, Parilekh, Rajshahi]Translation: 1. Modhusudoner Engreji Kabita [2009, Bhumika, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka] 2. The Golden Kabin(Translation of Al Mahmud's 'Sonali Kabin') [2010, I-Proclaim Press, USA] 3. Vinna Vasar Shrestha Galpo [2014, Mahakal, Dhaka]Editing: 1. Adhunik Bangla Kabita [2009, Ittadi Grantha Prakash, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka] 2. Anthology of the World Poetry [2010, I-Proclaim Press, USA]Little Magazine: Bangla Literature [1st Issue, February 2011] Bangla Literature [2nd Issue, April 2012]
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