Agha Shahid Ali
[For Christopher Merrill]
Swear by the olive in the God-kissed land—
There is no sugar in the promised land.
Why must the bars turn neon now when, Love,
I’m already drunk in your capitalist land?
If home is found on both sides of the globe,
home is of course here—and always a missed land.
The hour’s come to redeem the pledge (not wholly?)
in Fate’s 'Long years ago we made a tryst' land.
Clearly, these men were here only to destroy,
a mosque now the dust of a prejudiced land.
Will the Doomsayers die, bitten with envy,
when springtime returns to our dismissed land?
The prisons fill with the cries of children.
Then how do you subsist, how do you persist, Land?
“Is my love nothing for I’ve borne no children?”
I’m with you, Sappho, in that anarchist land.
A hurricane is born when the wings flutter ...
Where will the butterfly, on my wrist, land?
You made me wait for one who wasn’t even there
though summer had finished in that tourist land.
Do the blind hold temples close to their eyes
when we steal their gods for our atheist land?
Abandoned bride, Night throws down her jewels
so Rome—on our descent—is an amethyst land.
At the moment the heart turns terrorist,
are Shahid’s arms broken, O Promised Land?
Agha Shahid Ali's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Land by Agha Shahid Ali )
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(22 August 1893 - 7 June 1967)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
- Mother to Son, Langston Hughes
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- I Dream A World, Langston Hughes
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- I, Too, Langston Hughes
- Let America be America Again, Langston Hughes
Poem of the Day
- Osho, Bijay Kant Dubey
- Many Third-Classers, Bijay Kant Dubey
- As A Man, I Hate The Fanatic The Most, Bijay Kant Dubey
- Bapu, In Your Memory, Bijay Kant Dubey
- The Mirth of William, James Merchant
- -Untitled- (2), Morgan Siegel
- The Short Ballad of Egg Boy, James Merchant
- Logic in Life, Jayatissa Liyanage
- - Lady Andrea on the meadowland, Giorgio A. V.
- Lady Andrea on the meadowland, Giorgio A. V.