Agha Shahid Ali
From a district near Jammu,
(Dogri stumbling through his Urdu)
he comes, the victim of a continent broken
in two in nineteen forty-seven.
He mentions the minced air he ate
while men dissolved in alphabets
of blood, in syllables of death, of hate.
'I only remember half the word
that was my village. The rest I forget.
My memory belongs to the line of blood
across which my friends dissolved
into bitter stanzas of some dead poet.'
He wanted me to sympathize. I couldn't,
I was only interested in the bitter couplets
which I wanted him to explain. He continued,
'And I who knew Mir backwards, every
couplet from the Diwan-e-Ghalib saw poetry
dissolve into letters of blood.' He
Now remembers nothing while I find Ghalib
at the crossroads of language, refusing
to move to any side, masquerading
as a beggar to see my theatre of kindness.
Agha Shahid Ali's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Learning Urdu by Agha Shahid Ali )
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
William Ernest Henley
Did you read them?
- Another Day, Another Dawn, Jen Toner
- Courage, Jen Toner
- A Symbol Of Hope, Jen Toner
- To Those Who Grieve, Jen Toner
- I Am Always With You, Jen Toner
- I Am Not There, Jen Toner
- An Angel For A Friend, Jen Toner
- Hobble About Lame, Richard Thripp
- SnowFlakes, Jen Toner
- New Future Of The Internet, Doris Beaulieu