Poem: After Twenty Five Years
By: Jibanananda Das
Translated by: Kousik Adhikari
When I last met her in the field-
I said, ‘One day in this time
Come again, if you desire
After twenty five years!’
Saying this I returned to my home,
After then, how many times
Moon and star
Died in these fields,
Rats and owls in the moonlight
Searched for cornfield
Come and gone!
Closing the eyes many went to sleep
In the right and left
How many times!
Only I stayed awake
With the velocity the star
Runs in the sky,
The time comes before him though
Twenty five years does not end, it seems!
Then one day
Again the yellow grass
Fills the field-
The mist floats in the leaves, dry creepers,
In all directions the broken nests of doves
Become drenched in mists-
On the street the eggs of birds
Become cold, dry!
Flowers, some rotten white cucumbers-
Torn web of spiders, dry spiders
In the creepers, leaves,
The way is clear in the shining moonlight,
Some stars are seen
On the breast of cold sky, the rats, the owls
Wander in these fields,
Eating the broken corn
They quenched their hunger,
Twenty five years have finished
On what day, I know not!
Jibanananda Das, born 18 February 1899, died 22 October 1954, was a Bengali poet, novelist and essayist. He is recognized as the most original and influential voice in post –Rabindranath era. Das’s oeuvre is electic and resists classification under any single heading and school, but nature of Bengal, its countryside, the helplessness of city’s existence have a place in his poetry. The present poem is collected from his collection of poems ‘DhusarPandulipi’(Grey Manuscript) of 1936.