Elegy for Broken Affections
by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi
handwritten Urdu text by the author, early 1980's: *page 1*; *page 2*
We're the ones
who wandered your roads
with a store of young grief
to look for old age.
We felt that the wealth of grief
We knew that grief had power--
take some care, you can live on it.
When we touched your dawn-light color
fire burned in our fingers
When we caught a glimpse of your nights
the brightness of day dimmed
When we looked at the gardens closely
their colors changed of themselves--
Sheaves of wheat, green and gold
turned out to be
the earth's secret sin--
they awoke, importunate, urgent
On the mountain-face, an image
when did the waves carve it?
On the spring breeze face, your image
so often formed, and broken!
while the mountain-face remains
Everywhere a crowd of watching eyes, half-open
heavy eyes, eyes red with fever
tired and dreamy eyes
Were we those eyes? Where did they come from?
Everywhere, we looked only for you.
On the mountain-face, your face
carved by the moving waves
a frightening bitter image
all night it laughed at us all
not to speak of our store of grief,
whatever we had
We're the ones who wandered your roads with a store of young grief
to look for the moonlight silence
of old age
[ir:tibaat-e mansu;x ke mar;siyah-;xvaan]
translated by Frances W. Pritchett
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