Now that It's August Cry out in Sorrow | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 19, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 19, 2017


Now that It's August Cry out in Sorrow

Now that it's August, cry out in sorrow Bengalis!

I know you weren't allowed to mourn for a long, long time

I know, hapless Bengalis, you weren't able to cry at all

For twenty-one long years, but you can do so now!  

Cry your hearts out now for the time to mourn has come

Clear the debt of sorrow you've piled up for over two decades

In tears that can flow completely freely now! 

With the tears of pent-up passion released from your hearts

Let Bengal's delta be flooded and swept away.

Most people have no idea how striking shared tears

Can look on them. Let everyone know that truth now.

Like crickets chirping soulfully across earth

Let your clamorous cries pervade and overwhelm it.

Cry out soulfully, making earth quiver with your cries!

Citizens of an ill-fated country shorn of happiness

Cry out now like a hungry baby deprived of milk

Cry out now like a lonely sister grieving for a lost brother

Cry out now like a dear daughter wailing for her dead father

Cry out now like poor people who've lost all in ruinous floods

Cry out now like a mother who has just birthed a still-born child

Cry out now like a wailing old man who has just buried his own son,

Returned home, and is flailing helplessly about on his courtyard floor.

You couldn't mourn when you wanted to but cry out now

And let go of your pent up and till now impotent anger and pain!

After twenty-one years the sun called Mujib has burst through

Clouds and now blazes in Bengal's skies again. Not in celebration

But with funeral cries greet him now. Cry, Bengalis, cry! 

Like the immaculate juice oozing out of an uprooted baat tree

Let tears ooze out of your eyes and flow down your face

Like the warm juice of a date palm tree that has been tapped

Let the tears pent up in your bosom trickle down to its earthly urn.

Twenty-one years have gone by and August has come again

August is the cruelest month

August is the month of mourning, soaked in sin, harsh, cruel

Free it from its sins with overflowing tears!

Fakrul Alam has recently retired as Professor of English from the University of Dhaka. Currently, he is the Consulting Editor of The Daily Star Literature pages.

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