August 15, 2010

Posted by sepoy on August 15, 2010 · 2 mins read

فیض احمد فیض / Faiz Ahmed Faiz, August, 1952

روشن کهيں بهار کے امکاں هوۓ تو هيں / It's still distant, but there are hints of springtime
گلشن ميں چاک چند گريباں هوۓ تو هيں / some flowers, aching to bloom, have torn open their collars.

اب بهي خزاں کا راج هے، ليکن کهيں کهيں / In this era of autumn, almost winter, leaves can still be heard
گوشے رەِ چمن ميں غزل خواں هوۓ تو هيں / their dry orchestras play, hidden in corners of the garden.

ٹههري هوي هے شب کي سياهي وهيں، مگر / Night is still where it was, but colors at times take flight,
کچھ کچھ سحر کے رنگ پر افشاں هوۓ تو هيں / leaving red feathers of dawn on the sky.

ان ميں لهو جلا هو همارا، کۂ جان و دل / Don't regret our breath's use as air, our blood's as oil --
محفل ميں کچھ چراغ فروزاں هوۓ تو هيں / some lamps at last are burning in the night.

هاں کج کرو کلاە کۂ سب کچھ لٹا کے هم / Tilt your cup, don't hesitate! Having given up all,
اب بے نيازِ گردشِ دوراں هوۓ تو هيں / we don't need wine. We've freed ourselves, made Time irrelevant.

اهلِ قفس کي صبحِ چمن ميں ُکھلے گي انکھ / When imprisoned man opens his eyes, cages will dissolve: air, fire,
بادِ صبا سے وعدە و پيماں هوۓ تو هيں / water, earth -- all have pledged such dawns, such gardens to him.

هے دشت اب بهي دشت، مگر خونِ پا سے فيض / Your feet bleed, Faiz, something surely will bloom
سيراب چند خارِ مغيلاں هوۓ تو هيں / as you water the desert simply by walking through it.

(Translated by the ever-loved Kashmiri poet, Agha Shahid Ali)


Tweets that mention August 15, 2010 -- | August 15, 2010

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Manan Ahmed, Supriya Nair. Supriya Nair said: RT @sepoy On this shining August 15th, a verse from Faiz Ahmed Faiz w/ translation by Agha Shahid Ali. [...]

افتخار اجمل بھوپال | August 16, 2010

يہ انگريزی ترجمہ آپ نے کيا ہے يا فيض صاحب نے کيا تھا ؟

افتخار اجمل بھوپال | August 16, 2010

معافی چاہتا ہوں ميں نے آخر ميں ديکھا نہيں تھا ۔ آغا شاہد علی صاحب کہاں رہائش رکھتے ہيں ۔ مجھ بے علم نے ان کا نام پہلی بار سنا ہے

sepoy | August 16, 2010

Iftikhar Sahib, Agha Shahid Ali is sadly no longer among us, though, his words and his poetry are very much alive. You can read a biographical note on him here: And this remembrance by Aamir Mufti in Dawn is beautifully rendered: I highly recommend his The Country Without a Post Office (1997) along with his many translations, specifically of Faiz.

Qalandar | August 16, 2010

Apologies for the off-topic query, but I've had this question for a while: is the "hay" letter in yours and Iftikhar Sahib's Urdu font (e.g. in "mujh") a compromise, because the fonts online don't have the (what I was taught to call, and have always thought wonderfully evocative) the "do-chasmee hai" (with the line down the middle of the letter), or is it that both are equally acceptable as spellings?

Qalandar | August 16, 2010

Hmm, can't be my first suggestion, as I see it is used in "Bhopal"...

Amit Julka | August 16, 2010

Qalandari sahib even I had the same doubt...apparently it depends on the transliteration software.some transliterators use the chhoti he while others use do chashmi he...

semiophile2010 | August 16, 2010

Couple of passing thoughts.... Shahid was my classmate at the U of Delhi for first year M.A. English. Nice to see people referring to his works.... For people like me, seeing Faiz's ghazal in phonetic roman script or Hindi script would be very enjoyable. Just for Info: Am working on setting up a blog for translated Gujarati poetry, with the original Gujarati, phonetic roman script, and my own English translations. Narsinh Mehta, the 15th century creator of Vaishnav Jana To, one of Gandhiji's favorite prayers, and in another dimension, Gujarati Ghazals, which are far less known than they should be.

sepoy | August 16, 2010

semiophile2010: I will try and put up transliteration. Thanks for prompting me. And do tell us when your blog is up.

Aligarian | August 17, 2010

Thanks for sharing, I am big fan of A. Shahid Ali, he was a rare talent, and his ghazals in english are exceptional.

Amit Julka | August 18, 2010

@semiophile2010:try searching for this guy called Max Babi on he has done quite a lot of work in gujrati poetry

hdar | August 28, 2010 At the end of this article please find the transliteration of some couplets of this ghazal as well as my attempt at translating them... I absolutely adore Agha Shahid Ali's poetry, and you will notice that the article begins by citing him, but his original work in English is so much better than his translations of Faiz.