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First Read

Exile Poem

By Tuhin Das
Translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha
Tuhin Das is an exiled poet from Bangladesh who is now a writer in residence at the City of Asylum in Pittsburgh. His new book, Exile Poems, is forthcoming from Bridge and Tunnel Books in Arunava Sinha's translation. About this poem, Das writes, "Sampsonia Way is often hushed, being at a distance from the main street, West North Avenue. Of course, it’s not a bad thing to have found a quiet place to write. My exile is not just for my body but also for my mind. Loneliness is unbearable on some evenings. This poem was written on such an evening."

It’s a little too quiet everywhere.
After evening fell,
enemy planes have dropped
on my house
a bomb of silence.
The sound of its engine,
like a giant dragonfly,
made me bury my head in the pillow,
and then run out of my home.

I wander in the streets,
and consider signing
a defense pact
with the ambassador of silence.

Afterwards, heads of hushed army snipers
pop up on every rooftop.
Observing that I am returning home,
they tip their helmets to salute me.


From 
Exile Poems: In the Labyrinth of Homesickness, published 2022 by Bridge & Tunnel Books. © 2022 by Tuhin Das. By arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.

English

It’s a little too quiet everywhere.
After evening fell,
enemy planes have dropped
on my house
a bomb of silence.
The sound of its engine,
like a giant dragonfly,
made me bury my head in the pillow,
and then run out of my home.

I wander in the streets,
and consider signing
a defense pact
with the ambassador of silence.

Afterwards, heads of hushed army snipers
pop up on every rooftop.
Observing that I am returning home,
they tip their helmets to salute me.


From 
Exile Poems: In the Labyrinth of Homesickness, published 2022 by Bridge & Tunnel Books. © 2022 by Tuhin Das. By arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.

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