Turn the poet away from the city gates, NO ENTRY,
Number of men keep the skies of their eyes open
forever careful, busy watchmen.
Somebody has brought the whispery news
the poet has reached the city limits,
Men are swirling around him
as he reads out from a green manuscript
in a resonant voice,
men fall enchanted like a child
mothers chant sons;
Men are stunned with joy,
as if after a long internment
they themselves suddenly in their own parlor;
Only one line is read but
thousands request are there
"please, please, please again."
No, not from the city gates
but from far, far off, send the poet away.
Not one of his words are allowed inside,
In his words men can see their own homes,
What incantations is in his words
What words in his lex?
There is dirge-news in some quarters,
A few words like guerrillas have entered the main city.
The citizens wait intensely for them,
It has been heard
breaking the ban
the poet has entered the city.
- Translated by Afsan Chowdhury