O Yusuf

written by Sayeed Abubakar

O Yusuf

— Sayeed Abubakar

How does a man- by rejecting woman's enchanting youth
ripe and purple like mangoes- manage to rush
towards the power-house of the invisible
as an impotent, incomplete male? Burning like the coal
in the fiery oven of youth, how does one manage to say:
‘I fear the Emperor of the invisible'?
Having got all glory of woman in hand, how does one,
by withdrawing flesh and blood somewhere,
like a coward escape into the chest of the infinite zero
as the chickens safely hide themselves into the breast of hen
in fear of hawks? How does one manage to turn down
the rapturous sex with a woman most excellent of all, Yusuf?
When Zulekha's hands like pincers grip the sleeves of the shirt,
how has it to be said: ‘I seek shelter, o the Owner of the infinite'?
How has it to be said cowardishly?

But I can't help offering a basket of snail-kisses
when a woman like a duck stretches her lips wet with sunlight.
When a woman stretches her love-lorn hands, o Yusuf,
I can't refuse her like an impotent male.
As I fail to refuse, there rises the norwester in the beach of life
and evil approaches the earth
and the earth gradually becomes diseased.

In essence, I'm a coward, Yusuf, in essence I'm youthless.
As I'm youthless like the clouds of the rainy season,
my faith remains motionless turning into a dead body
in the stinking dustbin of woman's youth,
motionless remains my soul's skeleton.
As I'm youthless like the clouds of the rainy season,
I can't touch, like you, the perennial perfect summit of the infinite
jumping over the wall of woman's desire, o Yusuf.

[Translation of Bangla poem 'He Yusuf' taken from the poet's first book 'Pronoyer Prothom Pap' (1996) ]

About the poet

Sayeed Abubakar

Sayeed Abubakar, a major modern poet of Bangladesh, was born on September 21,1972 at Rambhodrapur, Panjia, Keshabpur, Jessore. His father was Nur Mohammad Biswas and mother Amena Khatun. Literary Life: Sayeed Abubakar started writing poems at a very early age. He was then only 11. Many of those poems were published in the local newspapers of Jessore and Khulna namely `The Daily Sphulingo', 'The Daily Ranar', 'The Daily Purbanchal', 'The Daily Janmabhumi' and so on. He used to compose 60-70 poems every day, for he was determined to defeat Rabindranath Tagore by the number of poems. Reason is that Rabindranath started writing poems at his 8 and Sayeed Abubakar started at his 11. Really it was a peculiar type of silly attempt of a...

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