Poets Do Not Die

Jahangir Hossain

Translated from the Bengali by Lloyd Schwartz with Jahangir Hossain

Like a waterfall
I keep falling and falling,
Finding myself again and again
In the vastness of The Ocean.

Like a riverbank, I crumble, 
Then wake up again on The Island
To shed the fatigue of the sailor 
Who traveled from a distant Continent.

I disappear like moonlight,
Then I’m back 
In the scorching golden desert
On the far horizon.

Falling like the falling of deciduous leaves, 
I resume my existence,
Breed in the veins of veins
Of The Bryophyllum Pinnatum:

The Air plant, the Life plant. 

Jahangir Hossain was born in 1982 in Noakhali, Bangladesh. He is a poet, fiction writer, essayist, storyteller, screenwriter, playwright, lyricist, critic, translator, editor, and children’s writer. His book of poems, Chetanarjalachabi (Watercolor of Consciousness), 2016, and his novel Abyakta Artanad (Unspoken Howl), 2019, have been published in Bengali.

Lloyd Schwartz is poet laureate of Somerville, MA, Frederick S. Troy Professor of English Emeritus at UMass Boston, an arts critic for NPR’s Fresh Air andWBURand an editor of the poetry and prose of Elizabeth BishopHis awards include the Pulitzer Prize for criticism and Guggenheim Foundation, NEA, and Academy of American Poets fellowships in poetry. His poems have been chosen for the Pushcart Prize, The Best American Poetry, and The Best of the Best American Poetry. His latest collection is Who’s on First? New and Selected Poems (U of Chicago Press).

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