Lie without sound. Be a cool corpse under wire teeth. The police are so young. They do not hear the wailing. Put the cave inside another cave so no one can reach it. Perspiration aches. Strain against dirt walls.
I have come to you from a metal house. We had steel barriers to protect us from the sun.
The lake drifts into forever. Windows here are small and I cannot see myself in them. What it is to be captured without spoons. If there is prayer, there is a mother kneeling, hands folded to a private sign. We recognize it. If there is a mother kneeling, hands a tent, she is praying or she is crying or crying and praying at the same time.
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Although it is recognized, the signals of it, it is private and no one knows, perhaps not even she, the content of the prayer, and perhaps its object. If there is a mother praying, she is on her kneels over some object, as one does not often pray in the middle of the room. One prays at the window or over the bed, the head bent slightly up or down, the eyes open or closed. This is a prayer for prayers, you know, a wanting something equal to a prayer, even though I am not a mother.
This is how much fortuitiveness weighs. Measure in dirt. Of vices and other habits. Of leaving a house at 3 am and drawn as would any tether and here is your lock, my dear. Neither crosses nor damnation. Fix nor flutter. Hangs here, this balance, and one opens the car door and drives along the river where it said a crossing might happen. Had happened. Many times.
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Sticklers will say, not here. It is my honor to do what should be done.
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As I rise with the morning, fog lifting slowly for my mind, I pray not to forget these truths. Yellow flowers remain bright, and white ones become luminous, shining like ghostly figures against a darkening green background.
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It is a gift to me, a new creation, a promise of resurrection. I salute the Sun, the Earth, the Seas, and the Sky. I am thankful for being alive this morning. Thankful for the sleep that has refreshed me. May my hands do the good work. May my eyes see the truth. May I speak compassionately.
May I make the world a better place this day. Compiled by Mike Garofalo E-Mail. Last modified or updated on July 4, After Iqbal, the major contribution to Urdu poetry was made by the poets who tried to propagate socialist ideas. Their poetry is, of course, full of what we might call political commentary. One of his collections was named Sar-e-Wadi-e-Sina. Similarly, one of N. Since the s, we have seen a number of international poets translated into Urdu. Pablo Neruda and Mahmoud Darwish, in particular, have helped, to some extent, in developing a global sensibility in Urdu poetry.
Again, we may admire something in a work but it may not be an influence in what we create ourselves. Do you feel this distinction in how you appreciate poetry and its inspiration and influence? Reading other poets offers an opportunity to see how they contended with the world they faced, how they reacted and expressed themselves, how they loved, what values they upheld, and so on, and more importantly, how they transformed those experiences into words.
I can relate to the hardships they endured and the injustice that they witnessed and wrote about, which is why I have translated their poems. But my creative process and approach are different from theirs. For example, love is a predominant theme in my poems, which I borrow from the tradition of Urdu poetry, but it was not a major concern for these poets. So even though we share many experiences, we draw on different traditions. No magazine dared to publish any of their poems. It was Ajmal Kamal who first published prose poems in Aaj in the early s.
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Today, this is a well-established genre of poetry. Readers were introduced to this genre of poetry through the works of those, including myself, who started writing in the s. These poets have, undoubtedly, influenced the next generation. Pick two classical poets from Urdu and two contemporary poets whom you admire for different facets of their work. How would you categorise them in terms of admiration, inspiration and influence? Ghalib I admired, and I was inspired by him, but I had to make deliberate efforts to disentangle myself from his influence.
I also admired Iqbal, and in terms of his influence, I learnt from him how to start a poem from an ordinary statement. There are too many contemporary poets that I admire to list here. Moving on to world poetry, how did your immersion in Eastern European poetry suggest to you any new frames for experimenting with narrative? By the time I encountered Eastern European poetry, I had already published a number of poems and my first collection was about to come out.
Reading these poets affirmed for me the value of this form of poetry that I had been writing. Could someone consider the human experience ultimately meaningless and remain a poet? The ultimate example is Bedil. His poetry reflects a strong belief in the meaningless of existence and yet he employs his intellect to paint with his words what he sees and observes.
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