Literature | The Daily Star
  • The Rainy Day
    The Rainy Day

    Oh, a rainy day Drips of water Falling from the sky

  • Two Haibuns
    Two Haibuns

    Once oysters are nowhere to be found, he searches for shunks. 130...

  • Starstruck
    Starstruck

    I see starlight on my walls in dark nights I see it on my windows.

  • Remembering Abdul Quadir: Life and Anecdotes

    Today, 1 June 2019, is the 113th birth anniversary of litterateur Abdul Quadir (1906-84) who was born in the village of Araisidha in Brahmanbaria. As a tribute to him, this essay offers snippets of his life and brings together some relevant anecdotes and reflections, which have literary-historical significance.

  • Riverine Reflections

    By the time James Rennell in the 1770’s, working out of Dhaka, finished surveying all the many rivers of Bengal, most of them had changed course, thus showing as much indifference to cartography as to any other form of human presumption.

  • Sultan Abdul Ha-mid II: “The Unspeakable Turk” Fights Back (Part I)

    History as an oft-repeated cliché says is written by the victors. While the winners appropriate exclusive rights for their narratives, the vanquished are seemingly marginalised. Or, are they? For better or for worse, they can now have their say, on television at least. Take the case of the Ottoman Empire

  • Apology From A Muslim Orphan

    I know you know

  • Kazi Nazrul Islam and Our Struggle for Emancipation

    I am a poet of the present, and not a prophet of the future. […] My birth in this country and this society does not mean that I shall remain constricted and confined to them. No, I belong to all countries and to the entirety of humanity. —Kazi Nazrul Islam

  • Two Poems by Kazi Nazrul Islam

    I sing the song of equality –

  • Metaphors of Writ-ing and How We Ac-tually Write

    What is a metaphor? How does it help people learn to write? What good is it to even to ask such questions? Though Bangladeshi culture values literature greatly and so recognizes its value in poetry we do not think much about metaphors beyond aesthetics. People overlook the power

  • Rabindranath: Weaving Miracles and Magic in Melody

    My first encounter with Rabindranath Tagore was on a cold winter’s day in early 1964. He was there as a sketch in pencil, on the mantelpiece of a Bengali home in Quetta. The flowing beard, the penetrating eyes, that sense of gravitas- all of this came alive in that sketch. I asked the host, a colleague of my father

  • The Meal

    Nishat prepares iftari, a sumptuous light meal that includes lemon sorbet, dates, fruits, nuts, begooni, samosa, beans and curd. It is the best part of fasting. But now that she is visiting Bangladesh in preparation for the upcoming Eid ul-Fitr, I manage things on my own at our new home, Dhahran.

  • A Poem

    A ferocious heat induced meditation And the world was blurred in a haze The streets were torrid cauldrons On which the pedestrians baked.

  • On Grammar in Writing

    I always tell my students that I’m not their language nanny. I’m an educator, and I deal with content. Ironically, however, I blue-pencil as many errors–mostly grammatical–as I can while checking their assignments. Mangled grammar turns me off. That’s understandable. Writing initiates a verbal transaction

  • Natir Puja: A Tale of Devotion and Sacrifice as Opposed to Jealousy and Tyranny

    Quite a few of Rabindranath Tagore’s dance dramas and poems develop around the idea of Buddhist philosophy that induces people to lead a simple life, to gain an understanding of the injustice and inequality prevailing in society, and to acquire knowledge and develop a deeper insight about the universe.

  • From Gitabitan

    There’s no end, why then the last word needs to be said. What strikes as a blow will become a flame; Once the clouds have their part, the rain has its start.. The light of my eyes, brings the world in my sight I’ll then have insight, when there’s no light The world out of reach comes alive in my mind And lights you up in its own light.

  • Truth, or Dare

    After finishing college, I wanted to stay in the city a bit longer, to look for a job, read more books, hang out with my friends. But most importantly, I wanted to find out whether Daniel was ready to take the next step.

  • What makes a writer successful?

    That is a really interesting question, and before answering it, there is another question that needs to be considered: whose idea of success are we talking about? Because the truth is, that could be the determining factor in providing an answer to the question being posed.

  • Empty buckets

    Strolling through a concrete jungle

  • In spirit

    Wake up, girl! That song wasn’t sung for you. You’re not Snow White

  • A Prayer for My Daughter

    Dear Shyamoli,

  • Did Shakespeare Know He Was “Shakespeare”?

    Did Shakespeare know he was “Shakespeare”? That is, even in his own day, did he know he was a cut above the ordinary when it came to writing dramatic poetry, that his language was, as a miner’s son would later put it, “so lovely! like the dyes from gas-tar”?

  • Grace

    Gabriella is a 40-year-old obstetrician-gynaecologist from Australia, a godsend for the violated women spat out by the nine-month

  • ~A Wish~

    When my eyes dim

  • Three Poems

    Life is a bundle of mingled yarn

  • Three Poems

    Life is a bundle of mingled yarn

  • The Living Fountains

    There is a buzz in the house this morning. Things are on the move. Nishat has taken full command, directing her troops to advance swiftly. I look at my watch and ask chotu to fetch my briefcase and the driver to get the car out.

  • Necropolis

    The empty lane of the cemetery was lit by the ancient stars flickering above. The wind had leaves dancing on their branches. It was a

  • You Were Never Really Here

    The eyes often grow heavy

  • On (Dis)connection between Reading and Writing

    Back in 2005 in California, I was reading Edward Said’s Power, Politics, and Culture. This book is a collection of twenty-eight interviews

  • Pohela Baishakh My Bengali New Year Musings

    Pohela Baishakh, in other words, got momentum as a kind of counter-discourse -- a vibrant collective and spontaneous response to the damming of the Bengali nationalist consciousness by successive Pakistani military governments working in cahoots with Muslim League politicians.

  • Muse of Baishakh

    Baishakh is yet to show up,

  • My Aunt Summer, a Sonnet

    Summer! My aunt in red, redundant words,

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