Treasure Island

Agha Shahid Ali

(4 February 1949 – 8 December 2001 / New Delhi / India)

Learning Urdu


From a district near Jammu,
(Dogri stumbling through his Urdu)
he comes, the victim of a continent broken
in two in nineteen forty-seven.
He mentions the minced air he ate
while men dissolved in alphabets
of blood, in syllables of death, of hate.

'I only remember half the word
that was my village. The rest I forget.
My memory belongs to the line of blood
across which my friends dissolved
into bitter stanzas of some dead poet.'

He wanted me to sympathize. I couldn't,
I was only interested in the bitter couplets
which I wanted him to explain. He continued,

'And I who knew Mir backwards, every
couplet from the Diwan-e-Ghalib saw poetry
dissolve into letters of blood.' He

Now remembers nothing while I find Ghalib
at the crossroads of language, refusing
to move to any side, masquerading
as a beggar to see my theatre of kindness.

Submitted: Saturday, June 16, 2012

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Learning Urdu by Agha Shahid Ali )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. There, Barbara Dixion
  2. Humpty-Dumpty, Kumarmani Mahakul
  3. Of Life Is Change, Is It Poetry
  4. Chicken Burger, Angela Wybrow
  5. Take me home, Barbara Dixion
  6. How...?, Ginny Gibbs
  7. gustakhi karke ched gyin uski aankhein, Yashvardhan Goel
  8. mukda, Yashvardhan Goel
  9. No More Yelling, Michael McParland
  10. The Wilderness We Abandon, Robert Rorabeck

Poem of the Day

poet Walt Whitman

ARM’D year! year of the struggle!
No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for you, terrible year!
Not you as some pale poetling, seated at a desk, lisping cadenzas
piano;
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  7. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  9. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  10. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]