Sunday, March 30, 2008

When the wounds of your memory begin to heal

When the wounds of your memory begin to heal
I find some excuse to think of you.

No sooner do Love's proclamations blossom,
then tresses are arranged in every house.

Every stranger I pass seems like an ally
even now, going past your street.

Exiles speak to the wind of their lost country
and the eyes of the morning brim with tears.

Each time she stitches a voice to her lips
the air is scattered with another song.

Darkness seals the door of the prison
then the stars, Faiz, descend in the heart.

- Faiz Ahmed Faiz

The original:

Tumhari yaad ke jab zakhm bharne lagte hain
Kisi bahaane tumhe yaad karne lagte hain

Hadeese-yaar ke unvan nikharne lagte hain
To har hareem mein gesoo savarne lagte hain

Har ajnabi hume mehram dikhayi deta hai
Jo ab bhi teri gali se guzarne lagte hain

Saba se karte hain gurbat-naseeb zikr-e-vatan
To chashm-e-subah mein aansoon ubharne lagte hain

Voh jab bhi karte hain is nutko-lab ki bakhiyagiri
Fazaa mein aur bhi nagme bikharne lagte hain

Dare-kaphas pe andhere ki muhar lagti hai
To 'Faiz' dil mein sitare utarne lagte hain.

Translations, translations everywhere. Here's another attempt of mine at translating Faiz (I'm thinking of making a habit of this, btw). And there's the translation issue of Poetry, some of which is decidedly lacklustre, but also includes this gem from Rilke, and this translation of Vallejo by Don Paterson, to mention just two.


enjay said...

I like this. Thank you!!

Iti said...

This is possibly my favourite Faiz poem, after 'muhse pehli si..' And nice work with the translation. Didn't Agha Shahid Ali also attempt this one? Anyhow, yours is great :)

Falstaff said...

enjay: Thanks.

iti: Thanks. And I'm not aware of a Shahid translation of this ghazal (which frankly is one reason I picked it) though I'd be interested to read one if it existed.

another darkling thrush said...

"then tresses are arranged in every house."
- bas yahan kuch ukhada hua lagta hai... shayad!