O poverty, thou hast made me great.
Thou hast made me honoured like Christ
With his crown of thorns. Thou hast given me
Courage to reveal all. To thee I owe
My insolent, naked eyes and sharp tongue.
Thy curse has turned my violin to a sword.
O proud saint, thy terrible fire
Has rendered my heaven barren.
It has prematurely dried beauty.
My feelings and my life.
Time and again I stretched my lean, cupped hands
To accept the gift of the beautiful.
But those hungry ones always came before me.
And did snatch it away ruthlessly,
Now my word of imagination is
Dry as a vast desert.
And my own beautiful!
Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899 – 1976)