Faiz: A Legend of Letters

Sometimes, we need a voice, not of our own, but of a great master that may resonate with the electric-meter of our heart; and, it'd be equally the mastery of that voice which can make it to dance. A voice of compassion, of love and friendship. A voice which fulfills the most rudimentary need of man - sympathy and human relationship, a need transcendent to bodily necessities. Faiz Ahmed Faiz, the Urdu poet and critic of art, is that voice for many. Many - not including those close to him geographically, but also those who share the pathos of oppression, sickness, suppression and loneliness. He spoke for human beings, for Palestinians, for the victims of the hatred of ignorant dogma - do I need to present you an unimaginably lengthy list of strange creatures in the guise of humans, who benefit from this source of healing, Faiz?

A few days before yesterday, was Faiz's birthday. You may be asking, why at this late hour - remembrance? I am more than just happy to tell you the reason for it, because that would not be a reason, rather a matter of (childish) proud. I am lazy, so was Faiz. I am weak in Mathematics, and so was he. I am happy I have found two ample reasons to relate myself to that soothing voice. And I did wrote something in time to celebrate for God's mercy and Faiz's courage, conscious human endeavor. But I have lost that nice essay I wrote on him, as it was but a fledgling set of intuitions. And roaring, creative intuitions often do fail to crystallize themselves if not gripped with iron hands - their spontaneity is simply uncontrollable.

Therefore, having lost an original piece of work, I still wish to celebrate the legend and in order to relive the legend I can only reproduce a few magic words of pain and healing, of yours and mine - Faiz. The Faiz of Faiz. All Hail.

(About this poem 'City of Lights'. Once Faiz was imprisoned for his political beliefs. He wrote this poem on Lahore's lights from his prison cell, during that certain period.)

The greenery is drying in a pallid afternoon;
Parched walls are wet hued with a lonely prison.
Far to the heart's horizon shrinks, rises, falls again
The fog of an undimmed grief, a heavy tide;
And yet behind this fog rises the City of Lights.
-O, City of Lights-
Who can tell how to attain your illuminated paths?
Here, in broken light, in nights of separation,
Listless you see sitting the soldiers of desire.

-Translated by Sara Suleri Goodyear

2 did criticisms:

Femin Susan said...

Your blog is really interesting... Good Luck...keep writing.
Blessings to you and your family…….

Muhammad Umer Toor said...

Thank you Miss Susan so much for your blessings and kindness. I do not really know what proper to say more.

Humble regards.

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