Tag Archives: Alejandro Mujica-Olea

World Poetry Proudly Presents Duke Ashrafuzzaman from Canada & Bangladesh!

Featured guest

The World Poetry Cafe Radio Show  with hosts Ariadne Sawyer and Jason Lawrence were honoured to welcome Duke to the radio show. He spoke about his passion for Tagore and read a poem in English and  Bengali. We also talked about the upcoming peace festival and the two Poetic Necklace Exhibits. To LISTEN TO THE SHOW, CLICK HERE!

 The Vancouver Tagore Society is one of our esteemed partners for the World Poetry International Peace Festival. Our great thanks go out to Duke for his beautiful work with all the selected poems that you sent in  for the peace festival. He compiled them into one file and put a lovely border around them. This took him many hours but the result is beautiful and something we all can be proud of. UBC is starting to print up the poems. The gift poems are already printed and the photos were put into frames. They look amazing!

Duke Ashrafuzzaman, is one of the founder-directors, and General Secretary of the Vancouver Tagore Society. He had emigrated to Canada in 1994 from Bangladesh where he taught Computer Science in the University of Dhaka and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. He also worked as a sports reporter for the Daily Observer and contributed regularly in the sports and science sections of weeklies Shandhani, Jai Jai Din and Mouchakey Dhil. He translated a few philosophical essays and poem. A fan of Rabindranath Tagore, and music and literature, Duke is well-known in the cultural circles of Bengali community of Lower Mainland as an active participant. For his day job, he works as a software developer with Faronics Corporation.


Rabindranath Tagore

In those frenzied primeval days, when
  The Creator unsatisfied with himself
  Destroyed new creations after creations
Amidst repeated shakings of His head

In His exasperated disapprovals,
Arms of the raging sea

From the bosom of
Primordial Mother Earth
Snatched you away — Africa.

Consigned you to intimate vigil of the
Thick forests,
  Inner-quarters of miserly light.
There, in your undisturbed leisureliness

You were mustering mysteries impenetrable,
    Mastering  impregnable arcana  of
    Oceans, Lands and the Heavens.
Nature’s unseen magic webbed
 Spells on your sub-conscious.
In the guise of crudeness you
  Ridiculed the frightful,
Subdued fear of perils
  Portraying yourself hideous
     With powerful sublime grace
             Of the terrible
     In the trumpet-roars of frantic
             Dance of destruction.

Alas! The shadow-clad
   Beneath your dark veil
   Your humanity remained unknown,
In the muddled eyes of indifference.

They came with iron manacles
Their claws sharper than your wolves’
     Came hunters of humanity,
    In conceit blinder than your
Sun-bereft murky jungles.
  Civilization’s barbarous greed
    Bared its brazen bestiality.

  Your muted wails in misty forest-alleys
       Mired your earth with
       Your blood and tears
Under the spiked boots of those
   Monsters’ feet
   Horrendous lumps of mud
      Imprinted eternal smudge on

Your insulted history.
Meanwhile, on shores of the ocean

 In parishes of their villages and towns,
       Temple-bells tolled for worships
        Mornings and evenings
        In the name of their Merciful God;
Playful children frolicked in mothers’ laps;
Poet’s music played hymns
             Worshipping Beauty.

Today when the dusk looms in the
       Western horizons
        Breathless in stormy winds,
When the hyenas emerged from
       The depth of secret abyss, and
       Proclaimed the day’s end with
          Ominous unholy shrills,
     Poet of the turning age,
     Stand beneath the last rays of

        The setting sun,
        At the door of that humiliated woman,
        And plead,
           “Forgive, forgive us” —–
In the turmoil of vicious delirium
  Let these be your civilization’s
            Last noble words.

             [Translated by: Duke Ashrafuzzaman, Vancouver, BC. April 2012] (C)

    রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকু

উদ্‌ভ্রান্ত সেই আদিম যুগে

  স্রষ্টা যখন নিজের প্রতি অসন্তোষে

    নতুন সৃষ্টিকে বারবার করছিলেন বিধ্বস্ত,

           তাঁর সেই অধৈর্যে ঘন-ঘন মাথা-নাড়ার দিনে

                         রুদ্র সমুদ্রের বাহু

                    প্রাচী ধরিত্রীর বুকের থেকে

                  ছিনিয়ে নিয়ে গেল তোমাকে, আফ্রিকা,

          বাঁধলে তোমাকে বনস্পতির নিবিড় পাহারায়

                        কৃপণ আলোর অন্তঃপুরে।

                    সেখানে নিভৃত অবকাশে তুমি

                       সংগ্রহ করছিলে দুর্গমের রহস্য,

         চিনছিলে জলস্থল-আকাশের দুর্বোধ সংকেত,

                      প্রকৃতির দৃষ্টি-অতীত জাদু

            মন্ত্র জাগাচ্ছিল তোমার চেতনাতীত মনে।

       বিদ্রূপ করছিলে ভীষণকে বিরূপের ছদ্মবেশে,

        শঙ্কাকে চাচ্ছিলে হার মানাতে

         আপনাকে উগ্র করে বিভীষিকার প্রচণ্ড মহিমায়

                       তাণ্ডবের দুন্দুভিনিনাদে।


হায় ছায়াবৃতা,

            কালো ঘোমটার নীচে

          অপরিচিত ছিল তোমার মানবরূপ

                             উপেক্ষার আবিল দৃষ্টিতে।

          এল ওরা লোহার হাতকড়ি নিয়ে

            নখ যাদের তীক্ষ্ম তোমার নেকড়ের চেয়ে,

                   এল মানুষ-ধরার দল

        গর্বে যারা অন্ধ তোমার সূর্যহারা অরণ্যের চেয়ে।

                   সভ্যের বর্বর লোভ

নগ্ন করল আপন নির্লজ্জ অমানুষতা।

   তোমার ভাষাহীন ক্রন্দনে বাষ্পাকুল অরণ্যপথে

          পঙ্কিল হল ধূলি তোমার রক্তে অশ্রুতে মিশে;

    দস্যু-পায়ের কাঁটা-মারা জুতোর তলায়

                   বীভৎস কাদার পিণ্ড

    চিরচিহ্ন দিয়ে গেল তোমার অপমানিত ইতিহাসে।


সমুদ্রপারে সেই মুহূর্তেই তাদের পাড়ায় পাড়ায়

      মন্দিরে বাজছিল পুজোর ঘণ্টা

      সকালে সন্ধ্যায়, দয়াময় দেবতার নামে;

                শিশুরা খেলছিল মায়ের কোলে;

                কবির সংগীতে বেজে উঠছিল

                             সুন্দরের আরাধনা।


             আজ যখন পশ্চিমদিগন্তে

       প্রদোষকাল ঝঞ্ঝাবাতাসে রুদ্ধশ্বাস,

       যখন গুপ্তগহ্বর থেকে পশুরা বেরিয়ে এল,

      অশুভ ধ্বনিতে ঘোষণা করল দিনের অন্তিমকাল,

               এসো যুগান্তরের কবি,

               আসন্ন সন্ধ্যার শেষ রশ্মিপাতে

               দাঁড়াও ওই মানহারা মানবীর দ্বারে,

                              বলো ‘ক্ষমা করো’ —

                হিংস্র প্রলাপের মধ্যে

          সেই হোক তোমার সভ্যতার শেষ পুণ্যবাণী।

World Poetry Canada International Festival , May 25-26th, Celebration Dinner!

Taken by Jaypee

World Poetry Canada International Festival!

May 25, Richmond Cultural Centre, 6:30-8:30 pm.   All free!

Theme: Inspire Peace !  Grand opening with First Nations Welcome. Awards for  International visitors.  Greetings by partners. Dance by  Jasmine dancers, Presentation of Lifetime Achievment  award to Richard Doiron, readings. Light refreshments.

May 26th, Richmond Cultural Centre: 10:30 am-4:30 pm.

Theme: Achieve Peace!  Addresses by Dr. Stephan Gill and Ashok Bhargava on Peace. Poetry readings and book launches  by International poets and  local partner poetry groups. Awards, dances by Jasmine dance group. Light refreshments in the afternoon. World Poetry Youth Team will host  Achieving Peace, an interactive panel.

May 26, Theme : Celebrate Peace!  This will be a special dinner seating at 6:30 pm. Please specify (Fraser Valley Chicken Breast or vegetarian)  Meet and with the international poets and guests from several countries,  network, read your  poetry,  buy books from the book table, listen to music and dance!

The Executive  Airport Plaza Hotel  and Conference Centre  7311 Westminster Highway, Richmond, BC www.excutivehotels.net is across from the Quality Hotel where most of the International visitors will be staying. Hours 6:o0 pm-11 am.   Meet the Interantional Poets Peace Celebration including dinner will be $35.00 or two tickets for $60.00!  Get your ticket now at the shopping cart!  For more information, contact ariadnes@uniserve.com

If you want to buy  tickets or sponsor a poet with a ticket,  we will send you as a thank you, a World Poetry Certificate or a membership!

Looking forward to  an empowering, harmonious and peaceful festival!

World Poetry in kind Sponsors and partners:  Exclusive Media Sponsor: CTV.  Print Sponsor: TAN-The Afro News. Partners:   Signature partner: Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society, The Vancouver Tagore Society, Jasmine Dance Group, Canada Council for the Arts, The Writer’s Union, Rice Paper Magazine, The Asian Canadian Writer’s Workshop, The Airport Quality Inn Hotel, Aboriginal Writer’s Collective West Coast. Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia (UBC Library)

*These are  Sponsors and partners in kind, we do not receive any money from them, only services in kind.*  However, their help is gratefully appreciated.

With support from the City of Richmond.

World Poetry Proudly Presents Alejandro Mujica-Olea!


Foto Las Manos, Oparin Ortiz









A: El coro de la Iglesia Anglicana Santo Tomas
El coro con su concierto de alegría
dulce y armoniosas voces,
canarias y canarios de la tierra
voces de trompetas celestiale
cantan a nuestro Dios cada semana.

Voces acompañadas de una pianista
con sus manos de mariposa revolotean
sobre el teclado del piano que
dan la melodía del júbilo, esperanza
y alabanza que van al cielo, a nuestro Dios.

Un órgano y su conjunto que clama con sus sonidos
de agasajos al Espíritu Santo, a Jesús,
a nuestro Dios, a su parroquia y a su sacerdote.
Una iglesia sin coro es tan helada
como un invierno canadiense.

Alejandro Mujica Olea ©


A: To the choir of St. Thomas Anglican Church.

The concert choir with joy
sweet and harmonious voices,
canaries on the land
voices of celestial trumpets
sing to our God each week.

Voices accompanied by a pianist
with her hands like fluttering butterfly
over the piano keyboard
give the melody of joy, hope
and praise that go to heaven, to our God.

An organ and its ensamble cry out with sounds
of gifts of the Holy Spirit, Jesus,
to our God, to his parish and to our priest.
A church without a choir is as cold
as a Canadian winter.

Alejandro Mujica-Olea (C)
Translated by: Marjorie Henry