My last blog post dealt with the anthology Contemporary Bangladeshi Poetry, an extensive selection from the work of Bengali poets from Bangladesh over the last few decades. Today I would like to refer to another poetry anthology from Bangladesh, in which the focus of the selection is set differently.
Monsoon Letters – Collection of Poems is a small selection of poems written in English, mostly by younger authors. The brochure contains one poem each by 36 authors and is therefore much less extensive than the selection I discussed earlier. However, here too the spectrum of voices and topics is diverse, and the approach to poetry by most authors is noticeably different from those contributing to Contemporary Bangladeshi Poetry. One can agree with the literary critic Fakrul Alam, who rightly points out the somewhat uneven quality of the poems, but also emphasizes that
„the anthology shows that most of these poets appear as if striving to be distinctive, and with the dare of youth, attempting to strike out in new directions. A handful of the poems suggest to me that new poetic voices are emerging, and we would soon be welcoming these Bangladeshi writings in English.”
An example from the collection:
An Unnoticed Kite by Kohinur Khyum Tithila That day, The sky was bright and blue, The meadow was full of happy children. They gathered to fly kites Blue, red, green, pink Colorful the kites were! Happy, free children And their kites. The sky was bright and azure. But I saw what one kite saw To her, The sky seemed gray forever. Then came the twilight. The unbridled playtime was over. They went back to home. They and their kites. But I saw one kite, She tore up the string But not to fall down, Her heart got wings. She flew, Higher, higher and higher. Then I saw what the kite saw. The sky was bright, blue and free.
I am looking forward to reading more Bangladeshi poetry in the future. Stay tuned!
Monsson Letters, eds. WRITE Foundation/The University Press Limited, Dhaka 2014
© Kohinur Khyum Tithila, Fakrul Alam, monsoonletters.com, WRITE Foundation and The University Press Limited, 2014 © Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki, 2014-22. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.