Heartcage v/s Sealedlips, Shuteye: A Reaction on Reading Tanvir Ratul’s Bawkkhopinjawr Bawnam OshThho aar Chokhbawndher Kobita
Tanvir Ratul first started writing when he was at the end of his high school. Over the time, the list of his published books grew to a considerable number along with the number of his readers:
ঘোরের লাটিম আর সুতার জ্যামিতি ঢাকা তলপেট
-চামড়ার খাতা আর জুয়ার কলম
শব্দার্থের এপিঠ ওপিঠ
-বিশ্বায়ন, গেরিলা নামেই অর্ধেক পিনিক
-পরিশিষ্টে আমি ও আমরা
বক্ষপিঞ্জর বনাম ওষ্ঠ আর চোখবন্ধের কবিতা
Books translated to English: Television of the Rotten Soul (Poems of Falguni Ray, with Atindriyo Chakraborty), and CHARYAPADA (Kindle version of this book is a replica of the printed version and available at Amazon. Please click HERE to purchase).
He currently teaches at the University of Liverpool’s Department of English and Department of Modern Languages and Cultures. He also holds a part time Associate lecturer role with British open university.
Sorry M. Barthes, if the author is to be dead, then the poet is not an author. I know this, because I have read Bawkkhopinjawr Bawnam OshThho aar Chokhbawndher Kobita. It’s not a eulogy. And poetry can’t be reviewed. Everything one writes on poetry is a reaction. Because poetry provokes. For me, real poetries are those that provoke both the reader and the read to absolute self-annihilation, because that’s where the love is.
In this book of poems, there exists a million or so subjects and objects – dancing, jingling, jiving and making all sorts of hay as the sun shines – and when they shoot out of their word-entrenched cocoons and shoot out for my cognition, they are dead. Thus, a lot of dead sounds spiral all along the watchtower as the poet keeps his view. All these dying make his poetry alive.
One glance into the text and one thing got sorted out in my brain, almost at once, like magic from broken lanterns – that I can’t read them in the morning or in the afternoon or in the evening. It’s only at the dead of night, when everything around is silent and when it’s very cold – that’s when I take this voyage. As I wander through the dim kingdom webbed by words and spaces, I feel ancient. It’s as if I have sold my wisdom to someone deep and dark, and here I am, in this pale, hazy forest where everything is nothing – I am a serpent now and I can feel the rugged world gliding by under my cold body. I am begging for something. It’s not a nightmare out here – just a prisoner in a silent room and a sniper in another one – and there are flashes where they are both the same person at the same time, and then, in other feral moments, you look and see neither of them.
This book is not for the mediocre worshippers of victory and defeat. Let them have the bestsellers. Out here, ships wreck and nothing happens – except sailors screaming for the moon. History roams along this wilderness, leaves shadows you can trace only in parts because if you can trace it all, it’s just not worth anything. This book is for the ones who get lost in the battlefield. And for those whom the cold flames singe, whose brains jump around razor-edge jamborees and the make-believe carnivalesque. Claustrophobic puppets jostle for space with their agoraphobic master – and they keep jostling throughout the words and spaces until you can’t make out who are the puppets and who is the master. And at the end of it all, you hang from the cliff and smile, knowing that none of it matters – none of it ever did or will ever do. That’s where the poet takes charge. He knew that all along and he will know of that everafter.
I’ve read this somewhere about Albert Einstein narrating his favourite lore of myth. There was a wheel and there were people nailed to the wheel at different points. Each were shouting – ‘I am absolute’. The wheel was set in motion. It’s pace began to accelerate. And they were all shouting ‘I am absolute’. And in some time, their shouts merged and so did their faces, bodies, forms and one sound came out of the wheel in unison again and again – ‘I am absolute’. In this book of poems, every word, every syntax and punctuation, ever dot of every i and every cross of every t and even every bit of space between the words screams like the people dangling from the wheel, but they don’t say ‘I am absolute’. Absolution is a sad dead monster. Here, they scream their sharp agonies out through layers of silence. There’s no broth to stir or stew anymore. There’s no war to win or lose anymore. There’s no wisdom to thirst for anymore. Every witness has perjured, every judge has died, each accused and accuser have dived into a flood of overwhelming solitude – one where the poet stares at you through huge, stoic hourglasses. Sorry M. Barthes, if you are right then the poet is surely not an author. The poet breathes.
5 pieces from the book (translated by Atindrio Chakraborty)
And if you go drinking around the world
My advice to you, regarding the dust-problem
Would be to understand the West Lake
A collection of liquid substances – wetness –
read the leaflets of the addiction center
There’s Practice Day
a day of dancing around wearing all sorts of ornaments
There’s the Eagle-Flight of time and horizon – the Illusions of these
And the epitaph might then go thus:
‘He had no relations.
But he had many bulls’
dreams roast all night
i bring up
stern sharp gaze
oblique light brings dawn back
now is the time in-between – now,
attempting to write
sitting atop a mountain of papers
so much in each frame
of any given picture
endless illusions of assistance
i lose words
in the commotion of sentences
the magic of the spark in the last nail on the coffin
seen from far far away, some say, in context,
i write a word at a time
i see the faraway senses – words radiate codes
of other times
relief in water, i see
watersnakes, in rhythm, somewhere far behind
time dwells, it seems
on the question of depth, today,
let us keep aside the name of the river
their real, natural bodies – more than just floating like
great white lilies – provided further urges make me sink, make Ophelia sink, give Rimbaud gangrene
Territory was on the edge of the town.
When you think of the wisdom of the wise and the dry parchment-scriptures,
Dante laughed square because of globalization;
Did Beatrice cry with Sancho Panza on lazy Matilda-afternoons?
He carries his vision over specific areas,
The journey from the shore of equation
No army or weapon or war was used and yet many animals died.
You sound like there can be an educated relationship with you,
despite hair loss;
With the wisdom left behind, readers will think;
And if any of the information gets divulged in court
hairsplit waters shall cut through hair for real,
pointing at the next stage – the one that is all about trying to fully cooperate.
When time comes to tend by the shores of Euphrates …
Addenda: News of disaster: most Coastlines flooded
People are being allowed to swim in a trap
that came to be when the ocean decided to flood
all of geography and many other leagues as well
The shirt belonged
to Many people in the City, which is by the Sea of Phi,
and where each sunrise is an economic fraud on children
like the resources of New York Stock Exchange
and actuaries who crunch numbers for gold
We have some debts
We build sandcastles to pay those off
To purchase the original Bengali book, please click HERE.
The translation by Atindrio Chakraborty was published by Antivirus Publication and can be purchased from them.
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