An open sky.
A wagtail* can fly.
No shade or dry,
But an unknown fear,
like a timid* cheetal* deer
tapping at my door.
I am sitting alone.
See! A queen butterfly*,
is also telling me to fly.
To sing a beautiful Bengali* song
with a joyful mind.
But the cloudy sky
rambles* over me,
and a request to tell
the story beyond it.
A crisscrossed* road.
Hard mud. My feet
ache within my shoes.
I am still alone!
There is no one
to give me shelter.
A raven* makes its nest.
Raising two hands, I speak...
Please come to me.
Hold my hands.
To see black birds
Again, I fall in love.
Bengali = from Bangladesh
butterfly = small flying insect, usually with beautiful wings
cheetal = small spotted deer native to the Indian subcontinent. Also spelled ‘chital’ crisscrossed = a pattern of lines that cross each other repeatedly
rambles = to walk without any purpose or clear direction
raven = large black bird
timid = afraid
wagtail = small black and white bird that moves its tail up and down repeatedly. Known in Bangladesh as the Khanjon, it is the national bird of Bangladesh.
Vocabulary: Words from the second 1000 General Service Word List.
ache boundary deer feet mud nest pairs request shade shelter shoes tapping
How is the poet feeling? (Circle the words that best describe her feelings.) free safe lonely tired angry lost
Why are the poet’s feet aching?
Explain or demonstrate the meaning of ‘tapping’
Why does the poet say she feels alone?
In the end, what gives her hope?
Critical Thinking Questions
Analysing: Describe the qualities of a wagtail, a deer, a butterfly and a raven. How are
they similar? How are they different? Why do you think the poet wrote about these
creatures in her poem?
Applying: The poet describes a feeling of loneliness. She seems to take comfort from
watching the natural world around her. Think: What do you do when you feel lonely? What kinds of things bring you comfort? If you notice someone who seems to be lonely, how can you comfort that person? Explain your ideas to a classmate in English.
Applying: Which Bengali song would you choose to sing if you were the poet? Why would you choose that song, in particular?
Evaluating: Is it ever a good thing to be alone? Does ‘being in love’ always make someone feel less alone? Give examples and reasons to support your answer.
Creating: Use the following framework to create your own poem. Look at the original poem to give you some ideas. Think of suitable words to complete the poem in your own way. Draw a picture to illustrate the ideas in your poem. Share your poem and your picture with your classmates. Explain why you chose the words that you chose.
A _____ can fly. No boundary,
No shade or dry, But a __________ like a __________ tapping at my door.
I am sitting alone.
See! A __________
is also telling me to__________ To sing a __________ song with a __________mind.
6. Creating: Choose a beautiful Bengali song that you like. Translate it all (or part of it) into English. Can you also sing it in English? Read the song to your classmates, or, if you can, perform it for them.