In 1953, when Dast-i Saba (Wind's Palm) was published, Faiz Ahmed Faiz had been in jail for almost two years. He would remain in jail for another two. He was charged with conspiracy to overthrow the nascent state of Liaqat Ali Khan and arrested in early March, 1951.
You can read about Faiz's prison days and the composition of Dast-i Saba in Ted Genoways' extremely readable, "Let Them Snuff Out the Moon": Faiz Ahmed Faiz's Prison Lyrics in Dast-e Saba, [pdf] Journal of Urdu Studies, vol. 19, 2004. Genoways also offers a translation of the poem Nisar Mein Teri Galiyon Pay Aye Watan .... Mine, below, is rather quirky. You can also hear Faiz's recitation of the poem.
Ù†Ø«Ø§Ø± Ù…ÙŠÚº ØªÙŠØ±ÙŠ Ú¯Ù„ÙŠÙˆÚº Ù¾Û’ØŒ Ø§Û’ ÙˆØ·Ù†ØŒ Ú©Û Ø¬Ù‡Ø§Úº
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Ø¬Ùˆ Ú©ÙˆØ¦ÙŠ Ú†Ø§Ù‡Ù†Û’ ÙˆØ§Ù„Ø§ Ø·ÙˆØ§Ù Ú©Ùˆ Ù†Ú©Ù„Û’
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ÛÛ’ Ø§Ù‡Ù„ Ù Ø¯Ù„ Ú©Û’ Ù„ÙŠÛ’ Ø§Ø¨ ÙŠÛ Ù†Ø¸Ù… Ù Ø¨Ø³Øª Ùˆ Ú©Ø´Ø§Ø¯
Ø¨Ù‡Øª Ù‡ÙŠÚº Ø¸Ù„Ù… Ú©Û’ Ø¯Ø³Øª Ù Ø¨Ù‡Ø§Ù†Ù‡ Ø¬Ùˆ Ú©Û’ Ù„ÙŠÛ’
Ù…Ú¯Ø± Ú¯Ø²Ø§Ø±Ù†Û’ ÙˆØ§Ù„ÙˆÚº Ú©Û’ Ø¯Ù† Ú¯Ø²Ø±ØªÛ’ Ù‡ÙŠÚº
Ø¨ÙØ¬Ù‡Ø§ Ø¬Ùˆ Ø±ÙˆØ²Ù† Ù Ø²Ù†Ø¯Ø§Úº ØªÙˆ Ø¯Ù„ ÙŠÛ Ø³Ù…Ø¬Ú¾Ø§ Ù‡Û’
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ÙÙŠØ¶ Ø§ØÙ…Ø¯ ÙÙŠØ¶ØŒ Û±Û¹ÛµÛ³ØŒ Ø¯Ø³ØªÙ ØµØ¨Ø§
|I give my life to your alleys, o nation, where
custom now dictates that one walk with head bowed,
when a lover leaves on a pilgrimage to love,
he must guard his eye, his body, his life.
Here, then, is the new order of freedom, O heart
Many are the pretenses for the oppressor's hand
Yet the days go by for those who can,
Now that the prison's window has turned off
And so we live, imagining dawns and dusks
Such has always been, this struggle between oppressor and oppressed
Which is why, we don't offer complains to the sky
If today we are apart, tomorrow we will be together
Those who maintain their oath of fidelity to you
Faiz Ahmed Faiz, 1953, Wind's Palm>.
Mataa-e lauh-o qalam chhin gayi to kya gham hai Ke khoon-e dil meiÃ± duboli hai ungliyaaÃ± maiÃ± ne ZabaaÃ± pe mohr lagi hai to kya, ke rakh di hai Har ek halqa-e zanjeer meiÃ± zabaaÃ± maiÃ± ne Why grieve if paper and pen have been snatched away For I have dipped my fingers in the blood of my heart So what if my own speech has been fettered; I have placed A tongue in the mouth of every link of the chain that binds me — Faiz Ahmad Faiz Hai dasht ab bhi dasht, magar khoon-e pa se Faiz Seraab chand khaar-e mugheelaaÃ± hue to haiÃ± The desolate desert we walked through still remains desolate, Faiz But at least the thirst of some of its thorns has been quenched by the blood of our feet — Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Sepoy, I always enjoy your Faiz translations - thank you for this one.
only belatedly am I thanking you for the Genoways link, and for sending me back to 'The Silent Ones'--to be reread today, especially.
Thank you for these lovely poems, both the one you translated and the one added under the first comment ("Why grieve if paper and pen have been snatched away..."). I am writing a book about my volunteer work leading grief and loss groups for women prisoners, and would like to include these quotes in the book, but can't find information on the publisher of the book. Also, is the one above from the same book? If not, do you have the info for this book? Thanks for any help. Peace, Jen Salima
I can't speak for Sepoy or rd, Jennifer, but a good book for translations of Faiz's poetry (plus an introduction to Faiz and his poetry) is by Victor Kiernan, although I can't recall the name...