Shiv Kumar Batalvi

(23 July 1936 - 7 May 1973 / Punjab / British India)

My Song - Poem by Shiv Kumar Batalvi

Do not sing
My song.
I must sing this song
Myself,
And then die.

This song is more soiled than the earth,
As old as the sun,
For many births I have had to live
The weight of its words.
No one else has the ability
To bring voice to it.
This song was born with me,
And will die with me.
I must sing this song
Myself,
And then die.

This song has a rare melody,
It is filled with pain.
It is like the shriek of cranes
Heard from distant mountains in autumn.
Or the clamor of birds in a forest,
Heard in a chaste dawn.
Or the sound of the wind flowing through high grasses
Heard on a black night.
I must sing this song
Myself,
And then die.

When I and my songs
Both die,
They who inhabit separation-houses
Will seek out my grave.
With one voice,
They will declare,
'Only a very few are fated
To shoulder such pain.'

Do not sing
This song of mine.
I must sing this song
Myself,
And then die.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 26, 2012

Poem Edited: Monday, March 26, 2012


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