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Showing posts from August, 2007

"Destiny" - A Transcreation

Here is a transcreation based on Faiz A Faiz's revolutionary Urdu nazm 'Hum dekhenge', and written to the metre of another revolutionary song, the Marseillaise.

"Destiny"

Fear no more my fellow countrymen
The day we dreamed of has now come!
Oh! See the vile ziggurats crumble
Reduced to ignominous dust!
Reduced to ignominous dust!
Can you hear the revolution
Rumble in the angry streets
It thunders fire and lightning
To strike the oppressors' nemesis!

Our destiny is come
The day given to us
Arise! Arise!
For the cast-iron pledge
Must now be redeemed!

Fear no more my fellow countrymen
The day we dreamed of has now come!
Look! From the temple of our faith
The evil is now exorcised!
The evil is now exorcised!
The good are now restored to their
High exaltations again!
See the generals' stars stripped away
And their thrones, their baubles destroyed!

Our destiny is come
The day given to us
Arise! Arise!
For the cast-iron pledge
Must now be redeemed!

Fear no more my fellow countrymen
The day we…

A Gift

If I were to give something to you,
What would you like to have?

Shall I give you gold?
You can make – bangles, rings, anklets.
You may then win over your beloved
And make her yours.
You shall enjoy bliss, perhaps.
But gold is robbed.

Shall I give you iron?
You can forge – hammers, axes, chains.
You may then resist the conquistadores
And interrupt their designs.
You shall be free, perhaps.
But iron rusts.

Shall I give you stones?
You can build – temples, forts, palaces.
You may fear not rain or summer heat.
And be secure in their shelter.
You shall have peace, perhaps.
But edifices ruin.

Shall I give you friends?
We can form – alliances, parties, relations.
We shall have wine and dance and songs
And be mirthful.
You shall have joy, perhaps.
But friends die.

I shall not give you any of these.
I shall give you the one gift I have.

I shall give you words.
You can tell - stories, poems, truths.
You can tell me what you think
About love and peace and freedom and joy.
Your songs will be sung forever.
Your words will never …

Untitled

I

"Darling", said my truest love,
"Tell me that you love me."
So I told my truest love
That she was loved by me.

"Don't give me words, you cheeky man,
You're good at them I say.
Show by action how you can
Your love for me display."

"I knew it coming, dearest dear,
So do not twist to rhyme.
Tell me what you want to hear.
What do you want this time?"

"I don't want any diamonds. No,
I already have many.
Nor to any foreign country go;
You haven't that much money."

"I'll take you once to Pretoria,
To China and The Rhine
And at the Waldorf-Astoria
In splendour we shall dine."

"You can take me to Washington
All in the course of time.
But lets get to the Sheraton
And have French food and wine."

"I love you dear, I really do.
I swear it love of mine!
But one month's pay, and next month's too
For fancy cheese and wine!"

"I knew you'd say this all this while;
My wishes you never heed.
Please me with flowers and…