Volume 5: Number 2, July 21 2002.
Two Poems by Sukanto Bhattacharya
translated by Rini Bhattacharya Mehta
Sukanta Bhattacharya (1926-1947) was a poet and a political worker. He became a relief worker among the peasants who migrated to Calcutta en masse during the Bengal famine. He assisted the trade union organizers of the Jute Mills in eastern Calcutta. He composed songs and plays for Indian People's Theatre Association, and also edited Akal (Famine), an anthology of poems on the famine, on behalf of the Anti-Fascist Writers' and Artists' Association. He was the editor of the weekly children's page for Swadhinata, the communist Bengali daily which first appeared in 1945.
He died from tuberculosis a few weeks before his first book of poetry (Chhaadpatra--the Testimonial) was published. His other volumes are Ghum Nei (No sleep), Purbabhash (Forecast), Mithekada (Sweet and Sour), Abhijaan (Journey), and Hartaal (Strike).
Poetry and Being
No more of this poetry.
The news came
She is helpless and small, yet her fist is raised,
No one understands.
I recognize her language, though.
And leave we will.
Yet as long as I breathe,
Once my work is done,
And then, I shall become history.
[Rini studies at Urbana Champaign but lives mostly in Ithaca.]