O poverty, thou hast made me great
Thou hast made me honoured like Christ
With his crown of thorns. Thou hast given me
Courage to reveal all. To thee I owe
My insolent, naked eyes and sharp tongue.
Thy curse has turned my violin to a sword...
O proud saint, thy terrible fire
Has rendered my heaven barren.
O my child, my darling one
I could not give thee even a drop of milk
No right have I to rejoice.
Poverty weeps within my doors forever
As my spouse and my child.
Who will play the flute?
Translation Kabir Chowdhury
Bidrohi (The Rebel)
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 glance of the veiled beloved,
I am her constant surreptitious gaze...
I am the burning volcano in the bosom of the earth,
I am the wildfire of the woods,
I am Hell's mad terrific sea of wrath!
I ride on the wings of lightning with joy and profundity,
I scatter misery and fear all around,
I bring earthquakes on this world!
I am the rebel eternal,
I raise my head beyond this world,
High, ever erect and alone!
Translation Kabir Choudhary
Come hither, the 'fallen', the 'impure', the 'outcasts'!
Let us all worship The Holy Mother together!
Only when all castes and all nations
Assemble at Her feet, side by side without fear;
Only where we are not bound by temple, priest or scriptures
Can we properly worship the Goddess
Only when brothers sit side by side, worshiping together
Will she embrace those who call Her by name
Descending from Her throne in the heavens,
Sitting amongst us on the dusty earthly ground.
The Goddess' altar will become sacred only when
Her holy water is blessed by the touch of us all.
Because we have ignored Her true message,
Brother has turned against brother
Today, upon seeing the Goddess in Her full splendor,
You will realize that we are all children of the same Mother
And heaven, earth and the entire universe will erupt in awe,
Awoken by our invocation to the Holy Mother
Fearlessly chanted by all in unison.
Translated by: Udayan Chattopadhyay
At My Gaze No Longer Laughs the Rose
At my gaze no longer laughs the rose,
At the music of my words no longer blossoms forth the flowers
What is the use of going to the fair
With the garland of the withered smile?
Dose the dark night amaze her disheveled hair
Without looking at the moon for a while?
The southern wind brings the springs yet
But in the garden the nightingale sings no more.
No more does the wild flower in the forest
Dance at the sight of the moon
Something is lost, something is missing,
My heart feels so empty and old.
Ah me, at whose cruel touch
Has my heart grown so cold!
Translation: Kabir Chowdhury
Perhaps we shall meet,
Where the bending sky kisses
The green wilderness.
Yonder, in the village field
On the ridges or the desolate quay
Perhaps you shall come smiling;
And clasp my arms.
Your unveiled glances,
In that impervious blue
Bring the secret message
From the southern breeze.
In the chinks of wilderness;
Your gentle kisses on my eyes
In the horizon's golden hue.
Translation: Syed Mujibul Huq