Khanaa’s Song


Listen o listen:
Hark this tale of Khanaa
In Bengal in the Middle Ages
Lived a woman Khanaa, I sing her life
The first Bengali woman poet

Her tongue they severed with a knife
Her speechless voice, ‘Khanar Bachan’
Still resonates in the hills and skies
Only the poet by the name of Khanaa
Bleeding she dies.

[Translated by Amitabha Mukherjee]

Not: Khanaa (Bengali: ???) was an Indian poetess and legendary astrologist, who composed in medieval Bengali between the ninth and 12th centuries AD.

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