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Nirmalendu Goon

Bangladesh Table of Contents

[Nirmalendu Goon](1945-)

Nirmalendu Goon is one of the most eminent poets of contemporary Bangladesh. His first book of poems was published in 1970. Since then he has published forty-five collections of poetry and twenty collections of prose. Goon belongs to the generation of writers that emerged in the 1960s, a period marked by the sudden growth of a neo-rich class alongside stark poverty. The contradictions and conflicts of the period influenced Goon and fellow writers. His themes address an urge to overcome restrictions and break down the barriers dividing human beings. Love of freedom and faith in the human spirit underlie many of his poems.

Among many other awards, Goon has won the prestigious Bangla Academy prize (1982) and Ekushey Padak (2001). He represented Bangladesh in the XI Afro-Asian Writers' Union Conference in Ho Chi Minh City in 1982, Bangladesh Festival in London in 1999, and the SAARC Writers Conference in Delhi in 2000.

Firearm - Nirmalendu Goon

The police station is crowded
with people surrendering their firearms
under the surveillant eyes of the soldiers.
The shot guns , rifles , pistols and cartridges
from the people-fearful of the military order-are
piling up like the promised offering of flowers
at a holy shrine
Only I, disobeying the military order,
am openly returning home a rebel,
carrying with me
the most lethal firearm of all - my heart.

I didn't surrender it.

- translated from the Bengali by Sajed Kamal

Bangladesh Table of Contents

Source: U.S. Library of Congress

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