Wednesday, November 08, 2006

under the young feet of passersby



Chatting with a friend back home this morning reminded me that the best poetry I know of leaf-fall/autumn is three lines in Urdu by Ali Sardar Jafri, part of a much longer poem called 'Mera Safar'/'My Journey' which is about death and reincarnation, immortality and return.

... rahroo key jawaaN qadmoN key taley sookhey huey pattoN sey merey hansney ki sadaayeiN aayeNgi
dharti ki sunhari sab nadiyaaN
aakash ki neeli sab jheeleiN
hasti sey meri bhar jaayeNgi
aur saraa zamaanaH dekhegaa
har qissaH mera afsaanaH hai
har aashiq hai sardaar yahaaN
har maashooqaH sultanaaH hai...

which I render, in very bare (leafless?) translation -
...From the crunch of dry leaves Under the young feet of passersby Will come the echoes of my laughter
All the golden rivers of the earth
All the blue lakes of the sky
Will be filled with my being
And the whole world/age will see
That every tale told is my story
Every lover here is 'Sardar'
And every beloved is 'Sultana'...

(The whole poem in Roman Urdu here. For a (not very good) English translation of all of it, scroll down on this page.)

Words remembered, wind and light and blue blue sky, and a long hoped for defeat; and watch the heart lift off, and careen like a string cut kite.

(ps - Today is wet and miserable and rainy, but who cares?)

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