Two Poems by Juliana Begum


The heart of hearts is packed with sufferings...
Those who sweat blood out
Take time to go from one village to another.
While walking in measured steps
Along a foot bridge with water underneath 
The heart swings like a pendulum.
It is uncertain when one falls.
This is the Seashore

This is the seashore 
Where I met you once. 
One heart united with another 
We stood here in silence. 

This is the seashore 
On which I could sense
A terrible night and tales of darkness 
In your heartbeat. 

This is the seashore 
Where Sophocles could hear
Tragic tales of unfortunate men 
Carried into his heart
In a tremulous rhythm. 
This is the seashore on which
Crowds of racists trembled 
At the pointing finger of Mandela. 
Protests resounded in the air.

This is the seashore on which 
Faith and trust filled men's hearts 
And assured them of a dawn of hope.

The seashore...
The waves have rolled over the beach
The tide has carried pearls 
The shells have been scattered over the scorching sand.

My friend! Flowers slowly blossom forth 
The sun rises at the end
Of a dark night .
None can hide the sun.

Sophocles and Mandela!
Stretch your hands towards us.
Let this be the shore 
Where you and I shall meet 
To sing the song of life
Let this be the seashore.

Translated by Ananda Bormudoi

Click here to read the original Assamese poems.

Juliana Begum is an Assamese poet based in Moran, Dibrugarh. She has two collections of poems to her credit.

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