by Mozid Mahmud (August 2022)

Festival, Daniel Celentano, 1934


Independence, freedom and democracy
We have begun to hate the three words
Not long ago they were the loves of our lives
Once upon a time these holy words
Cleansed our hearts; soaked to the skin
In full rain we talked about a scripture
We learned A for Abraham and America
J for Jefferson and saw Washington
Uplifting another planet onto our neck
We called the logic of God; yet knowing
The horrors of limitless killing we were on your side
But apparently your fall and trickery are
Dragging us into the deep den
The past beliefs are now the cause of our suffering
Your contribution to the valleys and lakes
That we thought to be our harbor
And it is you who polluted its drinking water
Withering away trust.


Table of Contents


Mozid Mahmud is a poet, novelist, and essayist based in Bangladesh. Some of Mahmud’s work includes In Praise of Mahfuza (1989), Nazrul—Spokesman of the Third World (1996), and Rabindranath’s Travelogues (2010). He was awarded the Rabindra-Nazrul Literary Prize, Bangladesh Writers Club Prize, and the country’s National Press Club Award. Recently, his essay on literary capitals of Bengal was published by Commonwealth Writers’ Adda.

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3 Responses

  1. It would be nice to know which specific American “trickery” caused the deep disappointment in democracy that the poem expresses. Or may be I missed the meaning entirely…

  2. To Lev and Carl:
    I think he meant the most recent disappointment, the one with which we agree. Could be wrong, but that’s how I see it. Otherwise there’d be no appreciation shown for all the things we also loved about America.

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