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Uploaded by : soma | 10/06/09

Banalata Sen

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.

~ Jibanananda Das

  • Title:
    Banalata Sen
  • Artist:
    Jibanananda Das
  • Year:
    n/a
  • Description:
    One of Jibanananda's most popular poems is Banalata Sen and the name recurs in some of his other poems as well. While some interpret Banalata Sen as symbolizing the eternal cycle of history and time overshadowing transitory emotions, others view it as a paen to the ideal woman, one who transcends temporal and geographical boundaries to offer solace and refuge to man. She can also be interpreted as the eternal Muse, who has been a source of inspiration to men since times immemorial.
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