Friday, 20 November 2009
The Curve of Memory
Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984)
Today is his 25th Death Anniversary
He was the man and the poet that captivated my imagination all my youth. His poetry casted a spell and showed me the path in utter serenity of love for humanity. Faiz not only raised Urdu poetry to new heights of perception and eloquence but also filled it with the sensibilities of human touch. As it is said there is no final view of things in Faiz; he is supremely aware of man’s vulnerability and yet he believes in the possibility of happiness.
Wearing necklaces of the hangman’s noose
The singers kept on singing
Tinkling the ankle-bells of their fetters
The dancers merrily jigged their dance.
We in neither one group, nor the other
Stood by the roadside
And wept silent tears.
On returning home
The erstwhile red flowers
Had turned deathly pale
And where there was once a heart
Now there was only pain.
Round our necks hallucinations of a noose
And on our feet the dance of chains.
Then one day came Love
And like the others haltered and enchained
Dragged us into the same caravan
Translated by Faiz Ahmed Faiz