Rezauddin Stalin | Tuesday, 10 August 2021 | Print
Rezauddin Stalin is a well-known poet and literary activist of Bangladesh and beyond, born on 22nd November 1962, Jessore district in Bangladesh. He has completed his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and MA in Political Science from Dhaka University. He is the former Deputy Director of Nazrul Institute, where he was employed for 35 years. Stalin’s poems got translated into most languages globally, and he is also a well-known TV anchor and media personality. Stalin is the founder and chairman of the Performing Art Center and is also the senior editor of Magic Lonthon – a literary organization.
Rezauddin Stalin’s total number of books are more than 100 now, and his Wikipedia link is: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rezauddin_Stalin
He has received many awards and recognitions, and some accolades are as follow:
Darjeeling Natto Chokhro Award India (1985), Bangla Academy (2006), Micheal Modhushudhan Dutta Award (2009), Shobho Shachi Award West Bengal (2011), Torongo of California Award USA(2012), Writers club Award California USA (2012), Badam Cultural Award California USA (2012), City Ananda Alo Award(2015), West Bengal, India, Centre Stage Barashat Award (2018), Journalist Association Award UK (2018) and Silk Road Poet Laureate Award Xi’an China (2020).
His Social Media links are:
We live upstairs
above the patter of twenty pairs of footsteps.
Downstairs lives an old widower
the owner of our house.
His is a quiet household consisting of two children.
Three non-talking pantomimic creatures live
without much ado.
The two children go to their respective schools at sunrise.
The old retired sergeant lives alone
all by himself.
After swimming the live-long day in the sea of news
he climbs ashore after sunset.
Onshore there is darkness
On the pages of the streets
the fire-spitting atomic dragon bums.
The shadow of inward melancholy
spreads over his part of the world.
What is his sadness
what grief rends his heart?
He does not have a wife to look after
only two daughters.
Maybe they too have lovers
among the jovial neighbours.
In half a century I have never seen this old man
rid of any thought for the future, laughing
but I see at the end of every month
an emaciated hand lengthening
and from downstairs stretching upward
and digging into my pocket and my ribs.
This done, the hand hangs down in weariness
and in obeisance to the set daily routine.
Everyday, long before the world sees the sunrise
the old man with his doors open
recites Dante’s infernal torments.
No one has any fear or curiosity.
Even his two daughters take no notice
as they go their way with resigned silence.
I pass through the staircase silently
before I land into the bustling nether world.
One sunny morning
from anger and jealousy born of neglect
the old man suddenly threw me down
into Dante’s vast and burning Inferno.
Poets alone can renounce the golden throne.
None equals the poet in choosing a simple life
in contemptuous rejection of celebrity and greed.
Poets alone sever themselves
from the easily gotten wealth and couches of comfort
and come out into the streets
and take pride in leading a life of gay abandon
like those creatures of the sea – the whales.
Unlettered Plato was jealous of poets.
He knew that poets alone could overturn
the essence of his philosophy.
Poets alone at times release into the sky
the painted birds on placards
equally sharing the pride of the Creator.
And when it comes to going into exile
the poets go into exile spontaneously
of their own accord, alone
no royal edict can pronounce any sentence
Just the other day Lorca in a blaze of glory
surmounted death and left an example for civilization.
Firdausi threw away disdainfully on the Shah’s face
the gold coins of compassion
and Heracles before going to heaven
blinded the white eagle of Zeus.
The irrepressible Nazrul from sheer hatred of subjugation
accepted his exile into the state of befuddlement.?
Poets do not gnaw into the heart of the earth
with the teeth of examples
they leave a new example in the world
everyday with every sunrise
and with service and dedication fill up
man’s unwritten white pages.
Much have I heard the tales of the wall.
Let me relate a little now
the tale of the horizon.
Though man has an inborn predilection for the wall
it being a tangible object
I have stretched out my hands
towards the horizon,
I am aware that my friends have been erecting a wall
all through the night
in complete secrecy
lest they should be dispossessed of it.
They banished dreams from the sea of their eyes.
They stayed awake all night
and erected a wall that rose above their heads
and they coated the wall
with the colour of ink and blood.
In my dream I am frightened
by the sound of erecting the wall.
The sound has a remote likeness
I plug my ears with my hands
and make a dash for the horizon.
The horizon, alas, how far it is
Across a vast stellar distance
it beckons me :
You will receive a noble deliverance from the wall
Come, unto my expansiveness
unto the infinite invisibility.
In the void between the sky
and the earth slept a naked man
The artist dissected him
With the sharp scalpel of vision
As he sought to restore the dismembered limbs
he found the eye is a flowing river.
The teeth a steep barren mountain
arms – a vast forest
eyebrows – the crescent moon
face – the soft sky
heart – the green earth.
In every part, the artist saw his own body
and the country.
Then as the limbs were put together
there was formed the vast existential totem.
I too had a village, like yours.
At the entrance to my village,
there was a fig tree in front of the sentry post.
The milch cows buried their mouths into the thick roadside grass
and lifted them again full of contentment.
In the bounteous cropping season
the crescents in the vigorous hands of farmers
would gleam across the firmament of the soil.
Thirsty calves drank joyfully from the fountains of the udders.
My father went to the village market
accompanying the grace and auspiciousness of the season
and came home carrying for my mother
the luminous smile of the hilsa fish
and a horizon-wide sari.
The farmer’s wives rinsed in the river water
the rice for making the festive harvest-time pithas
just as we bathe ourselves and attain a wholesome
spiritual poise in preparation for some holy occasion.
In the evening came the headmen of different communities
and shared out the happiness among themselves.
Someone among them would sing lustily a song:
O boatman of the mind, hold on to the oars.
Marc Chagall, what remarkable harmony prevails
between your village and mine.
In your village, there were quite a few donkeys to bear load
and We had a few draught bullocks
and an army of day-labourers, landless
who spent their days doing every bidding of the landlord
and like those helmeted guardsmen of your village
we too had a small company of village policemen
who dispatched innocent men to the other side of a gate in town.
The grief-laden mothers of these innocent men
with bent heads waited for a long time at the town’s periphery
like ships with empty holds waiting to call at a port.
Like those working women in your village
there were many women in our village.
From their breasts oozed tiresome salty sweat
instead of milk
and a group of farmers went to the field before sunrise
trudging the mist-enveloped path
like a band of guerrillas marching ahead
after having discarded their camouflage.
But no beneficence flowed in the direction
of the homesteads of the landless.
Day by day our village decayed into a stagnant river.
We were growing up amid starvation
wails and groans.
Fishing nets hauled up vast quantities of fish
white and gleaming like a set of teeth
and they flew towards the horizon of the city
riding on the wings of a truck.
We saw everything but were deadened
by the sound of the engine.
At a distance, the lion of the city had woken up
and was roaring.
The sound of hundreds of engines the song of stone crushing
the limelight and disorderliness of smoke and spices
were our stupefying terrors
like the colossal giants from Aladdin's wonderful lamp
standing with their heads towering towards infinity
and we being unwittingly sucked, gradually,
into the grips of those demons.
Chagall, my village is now inside the belly
of the city lion
and I, installed in the massive grip of the giant,
am ever searching for the wonderful lamp..
Posted 11:31 am | Tuesday, 10 August 2021
globalpoetandpoetry.com | Faruk Ahmed Roni
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