Agha Shahid Ali
Agha Shahid Ali (Kashmiri: आग़ा शाहिद अली, آغا شاہِد علی;) was a Kashmiri American poet.
He grew up in Kashmir, the son of a distinguished and highly educated family in Srinagar. He attended the University of Kashmir, the University of Delhi and, upon arriving in the United States in 1975, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Arizona. Though a Kashmiri Muslim, Ali is best known in the U.S. and identified himself as an American poet writing in English. The recipient of numerous fellowships and awards and a finalist for the National Book Award, he taught at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Princeton College and in the MFA program at Warren Wilson College. At ... more »
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Agha Shahid Ali Poems
The Wolf's Postcript to 'Little Red Ridi...
First, grant me my sense of history: I did it for posterity, for kindergarten teachers and a clear moral:
Even the Rain
What will suffice for a true-love knot? Even the rain? But he has bought grief's lottery, bought even the rain. "our glosses / wanting in this world" "Can you remember?"
Where are you now? Who lies beneath your spell tonight? Whom else from rapture’s road will you expel tonight? Those “Fabrics of Cashmere—” “to make Me beautiful—” “Trinket”—to gem—“Me to adorn—How tell”—tonight?
I See Chile in My Rearview Mirror
This dream of water-what does it harbor? I see Argentina and Paraguay under a curfew of glass, their colors breaking, like oil. The night in Uruguay
I’ll do what I must if I’m bold in real time. A refugee, I’ll be paroled in real time. Cool evidence clawed off like shirts of hell-fire? A former existence untold in real time ...
The moon did not become the sun. It just fell on the desert in great sheets, reams of silver handmade by you.
My ancestor, a man of Himalayan snow, came to Kashmir from Samarkand, carrying a bag
Those intervals between the day’s five calls to prayer
In the mirror, the hand hacks at my skin It belongs to the child who used his father's blades for sharpening pencils, playing murder.
From a district near Jammu, (Dogri stumbling through his Urdu) he comes, the victim of a continent broken in two in nineteen forty-seven.
The rain dissolves its liquid bones Humming the wind, the lightning grazes the skin. A cloud descends : My eye is vapour, this, the dream's downpour
At dawn you leave. The river wears its skin of light. And I traced love’s loss to the origin of light. “I swallow down the goodbyes I won’t get to use.” At grief’s speed she waves from a palanquin of light.
Swear by the olive in the God-kissed land— There is no sugar in the promised land. Why must the bars turn neon now when, Love, I’m already drunk in your capitalist land?
First the hand, delicate, precise, knows how to carve where to take the knife, make more alive than when alive:
Comments about Agha Shahid Ali
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
The Wolf's Postcript to 'Little Red Riding Hood'
First, grant me my sense of history:
I did it for posterity,
for kindergarten teachers
and a clear moral:
Little girls shouldn't wander off
in search of strange flowers,
and they mustn't speak to strangers.
And then grant me my generous sense of plot:
Couldn't I have gobbled her up
right there in the jungle?
Why did I ask her where her grandma lived?
As if I, a forest-dweller,
didn't know of the cottage
under the three oak trees
and the old woman lived there
As if I couldn't have swallowed her years before?
And you may call ...