A Prison Evening Poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

A Prison Evening

Rating: 3.1


Each star a rung,
night comes down the spiral
staircase of the evening.
The breeze passes by so very close
as if someone just happened to speak of love.
In the courtyard,
the trees are absorbed refugees
embroidering maps of return on the sky.
On the roof,
the moon - lovingly, generously -
is turning the stars
into a dust of sheen.
From every corner, dark-green shadows,
in ripples, come towards me.
At any moment they may break over me,
like the waves of pain each time I remember
this separation from my lover.

This thought keeps consoling me:
though tyrants may command that lamps be smashed
in rooms where lovers are destined to meet,
they cannot snuff out the moon, so today,
nor tomorrow, no tyranny will succeed,
no poison of torture make me bitter,
if just one evening in prison
can be so strangely sweet,
if just one moment anywhere on this earth.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Khalid Hamid Changal 02 December 2010

strangely can an evening in a prison be so sweet....brings tears into my eyes.....are da thousands of my kashmiri brothers feeling same in indian prisons or are they not allowed to see the moon? God help all those innocent people languishing in indian jails....

3 2 Reply
Xerxes 25 September 2022

Kashmiri brothers have one hope,

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Xerxes 25 September 2022

Kashmiri brothers have one hope, that their Pakistani brothers get to elope, with the wisdom to uplift their own lives with love.

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I love the image of stars as a rung, a spiral staircase into the evening. The entire poem is clever and well-written.

2 1 Reply
Mohammad Muzzammil 26 December 2010

Nice poem exhibits a great expression of the feelings and the plight of the prisoned people. The language is simple but ideas are soaring touching the sky.

1 0 Reply
M Asim Nehal 08 February 2021

Excellent poem. Original is far better.

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Hiba Rana 19 February 2018

Wow. About the best poem by Faiz

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Susan Williams 07 December 2015

This poet's heart can never be imprisoned- oh, but he frees the soul from bitterness and loneliness so surely his soul is just as free as those he freed

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Junaid Ahmed 14 July 2013

A great poem by a great poet. Faiz was a poet who amazingly put his feelings in reader's heart. My Salute to him.

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Spiritual Seeker 02 July 2011

Just too beautiful....pure ecstasy in reading

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Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Sialkot / British India
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