Shiv Kumar Batalvi

(23 July 1936 - 7 May 1973 / Punjab / British India)

The Pan Of Sorrows


I will give you the grain of tears,
Roast my sorrows in your pan,
O, tender of the fire.

Tender of the fire, branch of magnolia,
Roast my sorrows in your pan.

I am late already,
The shadows are fading,
The cattle have returned,
From the forest.
The birds have raised their clamor.
Roast my sorrows in your pan,
Tender of the fire.

Hurry, be quick,
I have far to go,
To the place
Where my companions have gone.
I have heard the road to that town is difficult
Roast my sorrows in your pan.
Tender of the fire.

When my turn comes,
Your bale of kindling is damp.
Why has your earthen pan
Become flaccid?
What has gone wrong with your fire?
Roast my sorrows in your pan.
Tender of the fire.

Mine is just a handful of grains,
Roast them, and let me go on my way,
Don't leave them raw,
Roast them well.
I beg you, bring an end to this wrangling,
Roast my sorrows in your pan.
Tender of the fire.

The wind has dropped,
Its mournful weeping ended.
A sweet heat
Is rising in the stars.
My breaths are like a marriage procession
Whose bridegroom is displeased.
Roast my sorrows in your pan.
O tender of the fire.

Tender of the fire, branch of magnolia,
Roast my sorrows in your pan.

Submitted: Monday, March 26, 2012

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