Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Two Great Poets

March symbolizes the month of freedom fight and sacrifice in Bangladesh. In order to honor our freedom fighters and to wake up from hibernation, I've offered few lines from the two great poets. Great Poet Dr. Maya Angelou from the USA and the Rebellious Poet Nazrul Islam from Bangladesh wrote these two poems at two different turning points of history. Nazrul’s poem “The Rebel” was inspirational to fight 2oo hundred year old British occupation in the Indian subcontinent. Two poems at two different times invite us to rise and raise ourselves for justice, freedom and equality that we all aspire.

Kazi Nazrul Islam
The Rebel (Bidrohi)

“Say, Valiant,
Say: High is my head...

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...”

(Translated by Kabir Chowdhury)

Maya Angelou
Still I Rise

“Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise...”

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