The person who finds his homeland sweet is a tender beginner; he to whom every soil is as his native one is already strong; but he is perfect to whom the entire world is as a foreign place.

- Hugo of St. Victor

'Idrissa's Song' by Nic Sebastian

wake me, then, from sleep among the shrimp pools of Khulna, from mirrors at midnight and blueness in dark

under an owl sky, I will shed my sleeping mat and step to the bamboo frontier of my domain: a hut of thatch on stilts, bound in bamboo and reed, rising fragile over the jet and silver pools lying beneath my sleep

is not each pool a door

a jackal barks
and, freed, I stride away
to wild bee song
to the black dark of Sundarban honey
and the mangrove forest
to swarm beneath the twisted
naked root of the sea tree
and hear the Bengal tiger’s hunger call
and feel its rage upon me,
who am stranger and tall, and young, and hard

the heat of blood runs down my back and thighs
and the hills of Rangamati are steep
elephants roam these hills

in the teak forest, great shadows sear my rushing skin
and when I reach the road to Chittagong
I see I have been branded
with elephant mark


Footage: 'Ghosts in the forest' by; 1914 forest fire courtesy of the British Film Institute's Creative Archive; boat film by; cloud film from

Music: 'Coalminer's Afterhours Oboe' by Juice Connection

Written words by Hugo of St. Victor

Spoken words by Nic Sebastian

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