Bonolata Sen: Jibanananda Das

A thousand years, and yet I walk these paths
On darkest nights from Ceylon to Malay seas
I have wandered; Bimbisar and Ashoka’s grey lands
I was there; further still, in Vidarbha’s dark cities
Life foams around my weary soul again
She brought me a spell of peace – Natore’s Bonolata Sen

Her hair as dark as Vidisha’s ancient nights
Her face sculpted in Sravasti. Like the lost sailor
On the distant ocean, the ship’s rudder broken,
Who sees a green land in a cinnamon isle
In the dark I’ve seen her. ‘What kept you?’ she asks, and then
Raises her bird’s-nest eyes – Natore’s Bonolata Sen

Like the sound of falling dew at end of day
Evening comes; the hawk wipes the sun-smell off its wings;
The colours of the world fade, and the manuscript
Twinkles in firefly hues for all these tales
All birds come home – all streams. All transactions end
Only darkness remains. And – face to face – Bonolata Sen

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