Tuesday, September 09, 2008



Jaao ki mujhe yakin nahin hai
tum abke gaye to aa sakoge
dahleez se ek kadam utar kar
vo rahguzar muntazir hai
jis par jo koi chala gaya hai
kadmon ke nishan biccha gaya hai
furqat ke diye jalaa gaya hai.

- Ahmed Faraz

English translation (mine):


Go for I do not believe
that once you leave you can come back
one step beyond the threshold
the road lies in wait
on which whoever has passed
has spread his footprints, has left
the lamps of absence burning.

It's been more than two weeks since Faraz died (NY Times obituary here) and I've been meaning ever since to blog about it: one can't, after all, let the death of one of Urdu's finest poets pass unmentioned. I finally decided (partly because I couldn't find any translations of his work in my library) that the most effective way to pay the man tribute was to try my hand at translating some of his poems (what was it Auden said? "by mourning tongues / the death of the poet was kept from his poems").

P.S. I plan to try translating some more of Faraz's work in the weeks to come, so feel free to leave comments to this post with a) death threats for mauling his poems or b) requests for poems you'd like to see translated (preferably with a link to the original in english / devanagari script)


Anonymous said...

the most obvious first please - ranjish hi sahi...


equivocal said...
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