Banalata Sen

February 28, 2006 at 6:30 pm 2 comments

Jibanananda Das


For thousands of years I roamed the paths of this earth,
From waters round Ceylon in dead of night to Malayan seas.
Much have I wandered. I was there in the grey world of Asoka
And Bimbisara, pressed on through darkness to the city of Vidarbha.
I am a weary heart surrounded by life's frothy ocean.
To me she gave a moment's peace — Banalata Sen from Natore.

Her hair was like an ancient darkling night in Vidisa,
Her face, the craftsmanship of Sravasti. As the helmsman,
His rudder broken, far out upon the sea adrift,
Sees the grass-green land of a cinnamon isle, just so
Through darkness I saw her. Said she, "Where have you been so long?"
And raised her bird's nest-like eyes — Banalata Sen from Natore.

At day's end, like hush of dew
Comes evening. A hawk wipes the scent of sunlight fom its wings.
When earth's colors fade and some pale design is sketched,
Then glimmering fireflies paint in the story.
All birds come home, all rivers, all of this life's tasks finished.
Only darkness remains, as I sit there face to face with Banalata Sen.

Banalata is apparently a recurring theme throughout Das's works though no one knows whether there really was a Banalata Sen. Which is perfect as the reader is completely left to imagine his own Banalata Sen.

See commentary on Minstrels.

And yes, I plead guilty. It is my voice.


Entry filed under: English, Jibanananda Das.

Facing It Ars Poetica?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mohd. Noor-e-Alam Siddiquee  |  April 21, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    This translated Poem is very good but the voice is worst. Please remove it.

  • 2. Soumen  |  April 29, 2009 at 9:55 am

    The whole magic of this poem is “Lost in Translation”. This is a word by word translation like news copies from freign language.


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