Sunday, 7 October 2012

Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Faiz Ahmed Faiz
February 13, 1911 - November 20, 1984

Major literary works:

Naqsh-e-Faryadi (1943)
Dast-e-Saba (1952)
Zindan-Nama (1956)
Dast-e-Tah-e-Sung (1965)
Mere Dil Mere Musafir
Sar-e-Wadi-e-Sina

1.
Aaye kuchh abr kuchh sharaab aaye


Aaye kuchh abr kuchh sharaab aaye
Us ke baad aaye jo azaab aaye

[azaab=trouble, difficulty]

Baam-e-miinaa se maahataab utare
Dast-e-saaqii me.n aaftaab aaye

Har rag-e-Khuu.N me.n phir charaaGaa.N ho
Saamane phir wo benaqaab aaye

Umr ke har waraq pe dil ko nazar
Terii meher-o-wafaa ke baab aaye

Kar rahaa thaa Gam-e-jahaa.N kaa hisaab
Aaj tum yaad behisaab aaye

Na gaii tere Gam kii saradaarii
Dil me.n yuu.n roz inqalaab aaye

Jal uThe bazm-e-Gair ke dar-o-baam
Jab bhii ham Khaanamaa.N_Kharaab aaye

Is tarah apanii Khamashii guu.Njii
Goyaa har simt se jawaab aaye

'Faiz' thii raah sar basar ma.nzil
Ham jahaa.N pahu.Nche kaamayaab aaye
2.
Bahut milaa na milaa zindagii se Gam kyaa hai


Bahut milaa na milaa zindagii se Gam kyaa hai
Mataa-e-dard baham hai to besh-o-kam kyaa hai

Ham ek umr se vaaqif hai.n ab na samajhaao
Ke lutf kyaa hai mere meharabaa.N sitam kyaa hai

Kare na jag me.n alaav to sher kis maqasad
Kare na shahar me.n jal-thal to chashm-e-nam kyaa hai

Ajal ke haath ko_ii aa rahaa hai paravaanaa
Na jaane aaj kii feharist me.n raqam kyaa hai

Sajaao bazm Gazal gaao jaam taazaa karo
Bahut sahii Gam-e-getii sharaab kam kyaa hai

Lihaaz me.n ko_ii kuchh duur saath chalataa hai
Vagarnaa dahar me.n ab Khizr kaa bharam kyaa hai
3.
I am being accused of loving you, that is all

I am being accused of loving you, that is all
It is not an insult, but a praise, that is all

My heart is pleased at the words of the accusers
O my dearest dear, they say your name, that is all

For what I am ridiculed, it is not a crime
My heart's useless playtime, a failed love, that is all

I haven't lost hope, but just a fight, that is all
The night of suffering lengthens, but just a night, that is all

In the hand of time is not the rolling of my fate
In the hand of time roll just the days, that is all

A day will come for sure when I will see the truth
My beautiful beloved is behind a veil, that is all

The night is young, Faiz start saying a Ghazal
A storm of emotions is raging inside, that is all

(Prison Journal)

4.
When Autumn Came

This is the way that autumn came to the trees:
it stripped them down to the skin,
left their ebony bodies naked.
It shook out their hearts, the yellow leaves,
scattered them over the ground.
Anyone could trample them out of shape
undisturbed by a single moan of protest.

The birds that herald dreams
were exiled from their song,
each voice torn out of its throat.
They dropped into the dust
even before the hunter strung his bow.

Oh, God of May have mercy.
Bless these withered bodies
with the passion of your resurrection;
make their dead veins flow with blood again.

Give some tree the gift of green again.
Let one bird sing.
5.
 My Interview

The wall has grown all black, upto the circling roof.
Roads are empty, travellers all gone. Once again
My night begins to converse with its loneliness;
My visitor I feel has come once again.
Henna stains one palm, blood wets another;
One eye poisons, the other cures.

None leaves or enters my heart's lodging;
Loneliness leaves the flower of pain unwatered,
Who is there to fill the cup of its wound with color?

My visitor I feel has come once again,
Of her own will, my old friend--her name
Is Death: a friend in need, yet an enemy--
The murderess and the sweetheart!
6.
 We, Who Were Slain In Unlit Pathways

Wishing for the roses of your lips
we offered ourselves to a gallows' twig
Longing for the radiance of your glowing hands
we let ourselves be slain in unlit pathways

On the gallows away from our face
darted the redness of your ruby lips,
waved the playfulness of your youthful locks,
shone the glow of the silver palms.


When the evening of suffering settled in your alleys
we came, as far as our steps could bring
Words of poetry on our lips, a lamp of anguish in our hearts
Our suffering was a testimony to your beauty
See, we were faithful to our pledge
We, who were slain in unlit pathways.

If failure was our destined end
your love was indeed our own doing.
Who is to blame if all the roads of passion
led to the killing grounds of separation.

Picking up our flags from these grounds
will march forth more caravans of your lovers
For whose journeys' sake, our footsteps have
shortened the lengths of the agonizing quest
For whose sake we have made universal
by losing our lives, the pledge to your faithfulness
We, who were slain in unlit pathways.

(Montgomery Jail, 15 May 1954)
7.
Let Me Think

You ask me about that country whose details now escape me,
I don't remember its geography, nothing of its history.
And should I visit it in memory,
It would be as I would a past lover,
After years, for a night, no longer restless with passion,
With no fear of regret.
I have reached that age when one visits the heart merely as a courtesy.
8.
Do Not Ask My Love

Do not ask, my love, for the love we had before:
You existed, I told myself, so all existence shone,
Grief for me was you; the world?s grief was far.
Spring was ever renewed in your face:
Beyond your eyes, what could the world hold?
Had I won you, Fate?s head would hang, defeated.
Yet all this was not so, I merely wished it so.
The world knows sorrows other than those of love,
Pleasures beyond those of romance:
The dread dark spell of countless centuries
Woven with silk and satin and gold braocade,
Bodies sold everywhere, in streets and markets,
Besmeared with dirt, bathed in blood,
Crawling from infested ovens,
My gaze returns to these: what can I do?
Your beauty still haunts me: what can I do?
The world is burdened by sorrows beyond love,
By pleasures beyond romance,
Do not demand that love which can be no more.
9.
It Is Spring Again

t is spring, And the ledger is opened again.
From the abyss where they were frozen,
those days suddenly return, those days
that passed away from your lips, that died
with all our kisses, unaccounted.
The roses return: they are your fragrance;
they are the blood of your lovers.
Sorrow returns. I go through my pain
and the agony of friends still lost in the memory
of moon-silver arms, the caresses of vanished women.
I go through page after page. There are no answers,
and spring has come once again asking
the same questions, reopening account after account.
10.
 Wasteland Of Solitude

In the wasteland of solitude, my love, quiver
shadows of your voice, illusions of your lips.
In the wasteland of solitude, from the dusts of parting
Sprout jasmines and roses of your presence

From somewhere close by, rises the warmth of your breath
and in its own aroma smolders, slowly, bit by bit.
Far-off, across the horizon, dropp by glistening drop
Falls the dew of your beguiling glance.

With such overwhelming love, O my love,
your memory has placed its hand on my heart?s cheek,
that it looks as if (though it?s still the dawn of the adieu)
the sun of parting has set; the night of union has come.
11.
 Solitude

Is someone there, oh weeping heart? No, no one there.
Perhaps a traveler, but he will be on his way.
The night is spent, the dust of stars begins to scatter.
In the assembly halls dream-filled lamps begin to waver.
Small streets sleep waiting by the thoroughfare.
Strange earth beclouds footprints of yesterday.
Snuff out the candles, put away wine-cup and flask.
Then lock your eyelids in this morning dusk.
For now there's no one, no one who will come here.
What did you think
12.
 Highway

A despondent highway is stretched,
its eyes set on the far horizon
On the cold dirt of its bosom,
its grayish beauty spread

As if some saddened woman
in her lonely abode, lost in thought.
In contemplation of union with her Beloved
every pore sore, limbs limp with exhaustion

(Lamenting Caricature) 
13.
We Who Were Executed

(After reading the letters of Julius and Ether Rosenberg)

I longed for your lips, dreamed of their roses:
I was hanged from the dry branch of the scaffold.
I wanted to touch your hands, their silver light:
I was murdered in the half-light of dim lanes.

And there where you were crucified,
so far away from my words,
you still were beautiful:
color kept clinging to your lips?
rapture was still vivid in your hair?
light remained silvering in your hands.

When the night of cruelty merged with the roads you had taked,
I came as far as my feet could bring me,
on my lips the phrase of a song,
my heart lit up only by sorrow.
This sorrow was my testimony to your beauty?
Look! I remained a witness till the end,
I who was killed in the darkest lanes.

It?s true? that not to reach you was fate?
but who?ll deny that to love you
was entirely in my hands?
So why complain if these matters of desire
brought me inevitably to the execution grounds?

Why complain? Holding up our sorrows as banners,
new lovers will emerge
from the lanes where we were killed
and embark, in caravans, on those highways of desire.
It?s because of them that we shortened the distances of sorrow,
it?s because of them that we went out to make the world our own,
we who were murdered in the darkest lanes.

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