Agha Shahid Ali
Agha Shahid Ali (Kashmiri: आग़ा शाहिद अली, آغا شاہِد علی;) was a Kashmiri American poet.
He grew up in Kashmir, the son of a distinguished and highly educated family in Srinagar. He attended the University of Kashmir, the University of Delhi and, upon arriving in the United States in 1975, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Arizona. Though a Kashmiri Muslim, Ali is best known in the U.S. and identified himself as an American poet writing in English. The recipient of numerous fellowships and awards and a finalist for the National Book Award, he taught at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Princeton College and in the MFA program at Warren Wilson College. At ... more »
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Agha Shahid Ali Poems
The Wolf's Postcript to 'Little Red Ridi...
First, grant me my sense of history: I did it for posterity, for kindergarten teachers and a clear moral:
Even the Rain
What will suffice for a true-love knot? Even the rain? But he has bought grief's lottery, bought even the rain. "our glosses / wanting in this world" "Can you remember?"
Where are you now? Who lies beneath your spell tonight? Whom else from rapture’s road will you expel tonight? Those “Fabrics of Cashmere—” “to make Me beautiful—” “Trinket”—to gem—“Me to adorn—How tell”—tonight?
I See Chile in My Rearview Mirror
This dream of water-what does it harbor? I see Argentina and Paraguay under a curfew of glass, their colors breaking, like oil. The night in Uruguay
My ancestor, a man of Himalayan snow, came to Kashmir from Samarkand, carrying a bag
I’ll do what I must if I’m bold in real time. A refugee, I’ll be paroled in real time. Cool evidence clawed off like shirts of hell-fire? A former existence untold in real time ...
A History of Paisley:
You who will find the dark fossils of paisleys one afternoon on the peaks of Zabarvan - Trader from an ancient market of the future,
Those intervals between the day’s five calls to prayer
The moon did not become the sun. It just fell on the desert in great sheets, reams of silver handmade by you.
In the mirror, the hand hacks at my skin It belongs to the child who used his father's blades for sharpening pencils, playing murder.
At dawn you leave. The river wears its skin of light. And I traced love’s loss to the origin of light. “I swallow down the goodbyes I won’t get to use.” At grief’s speed she waves from a palanquin of light.
The rain dissolves its liquid bones Humming the wind, the lightning grazes the skin. A cloud descends : My eye is vapour, this, the dream's downpour
K. L. Saigal
Nostalgic for Baba's youth, I make you return his wasted generation:
From a district near Jammu, (Dogri stumbling through his Urdu) he comes, the victim of a continent broken in two in nineteen forty-seven.
Comments about Agha Shahid Ali
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
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(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
The Wolf's Postcript to 'Little Red Riding Hood'
First, grant me my sense of history:
I did it for posterity,
for kindergarten teachers
and a clear moral:
Little girls shouldn't wander off
in search of strange flowers,
and they mustn't speak to strangers.
And then grant me my generous sense of plot:
Couldn't I have gobbled her up
right there in the jungle?
Why did I ask her where her grandma lived?
As if I, a forest-dweller,
didn't know of the cottage
under the three oak trees
and the old woman lived there
As if I couldn't have swallowed her years before?
And you may call ...