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In the Name of God بسم الله
Blissful

Post Your Favourite Poems

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A small poem by Nizar Qabbani translated thus:

Language

When a man is in love

How can he use old words?

Should a woman

desiring her lover

lie down with

grammarians and linguists?

I said nothing

To the woman I loved

But gathered

Love's adjectives into the suitcase

And fled from all languages.

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This one is also attributed to Imam Ali, very beautiful, perhaps even better in Arabic:

Your sickness is within you, though you do not realize

And your cure is within, yet you do not see

You claim that you are nothing but a tiny entity

Yet wrapped up inside of you is the greatest universe

You are the clear book, through whose letters

All that is secret is revealed and made known.

So you have no need for anything outside of you

Your consciousness is within you, though you do not know

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A poem from Sheikh Ayyaz translated from Sindhi thus:

The Dancing Flames

Don't ask for their price, O dictator

You will never be able to pay for my songs!

Your threshold is filled today

With the noise if those who come begging,

Asking for favours

And they who were worth a few pennies

Have been paid in gold and silver

Literature and art have become a bazaar of salves

Where naked bodies display their charms,

In your land of cash and coins

What is the value of a poet? Nothing!

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Thought I'd rekindle the poetry forum, and share my favourite poem with you guys. In return, share yours and tell us why.

 

A poem I liked from the collection I am currently reading.

 

The poet's longing for his homeland and how he feels it when he gets a postcard from home.

 

 

Postcard from Kashmir

Kashmir shrinks into my mailbox,

my home a near four by six inches.

I always loved neatness. Now I hold

the half-inch Himalayas in my hand.

This is home. And this is the closest

I'll ever be to home. When I return,

the colors wn't be so brilliant.

the Jhelum's waters so clean,

so ultramarine. My love

so overexposed.

 

And my memory will be a little

out of focus, in it

a giant negative, black

and white, still undeveloped.

 

 

__Agha Shahid Ali

PS: Where are you, Blissful?

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Prelude of Black Drapes by Edward Hirsch

Now the city deepens in smoke,

now the darkness raises a withered hand

and the night begins, like a prelude,

in real earnest. This is the music

that hurries pedestrians home

and follows a fading breath of ashes

out of the faded commuter stations.

Slowly the bridges open their arms

over the river and the cars

fan out in the mist like a peacock''s

feathers, or a deck of luminous cards

dealt into shadows. This is the hour

when the tugs slide into their cells

and the gates snap shut behind them, when

prisoners stare at their blank ceilings

and the windows are bolted in factories.

Some of us remember the moon:

it is a tarnished silver ball worn

into our memories, a faint smudge

of light rubbed into the heavy fog.

In this city even the ginkgoes

turn up their collars in self-protection

while the buildings stiffen like hills

against the wind. And as we hurry home

in the cold, in our separate

bodies, it takes all our faith to believe

these black drapes, this curtain of ash

will ever rise again in the morning.

**some of the capitalization may be off, apologies!

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Some of us remember the moon:

it is a tarnished silver ball worn

into our memories, a faint smudge

of light rubbed into the heavy fog.

.....

while the buildings stiffen like hills

against the wind. And as we hurry home

in the cold, in our separate

bodies, it takes all our faith to believe

these black drapes, this curtain of ash

will ever rise again in the morning.

 

Here, here...

 

Beautiful, this ^

 

Lovely imagery.

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To My Daughter The Junkie On a Train by Audre Lorde

Children we have not borne

bedevil us by becoming

themselves

painfully sharp and unavoidable

like a needle in our flesh.

Coming home on the subway from a PTA meeting

of minds committed like murder

or suicide

to their own private struggle

a long-legged girl with a horse in her brain

slumps down beside me

begging to be ridden asleep

for the price of a midnight train

free from desire.

Little girl on the nod

if we are measured by the dreams we avoid

then you are the nightmare

of all sleeping mothers

rocking back and forth

the dead weight of your arms

locked about our necks

heavier than our habit

of looking for reasons.

My corrupt concern will not replace

what you once needed

but I am locked into my own addictions

and offer you my help, one eye

out

for my own station.

Roused and deprived

your costly dream explodes

into a terrible technicoloured laughter

at my failure

up and down across the aisle

women avert their eyes

as the other mothers who became useless

curse their children who became junk.

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Estimates by Nick Laird

Who knows what you mean by love?
Extrapolating from the facts
you want two hundred friends
to watch
you wear the white and walk the aisle.

 

We could pack the car and motor north
to waterfall and rock, a nightfall
lit by moonlight on the snowfall
patches
still intact among the sheep-tracks

 

and the turf-banks and the heather.
We could pull in somewhere there,
kill the engine, wait,
listen
to a late-night country music station,

 

split bars of dark and fruit-&-nut,
sip amaretto from the lid, skin up,
and wake,
unwashed and cramped
as man and wife

 

in a place unpeopled, dawn-calm,
cleared of its gestures, its features
by weather, to mountains,
and mountains of clouds.
We could.

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The Boy in the Bazaar

Watches me fiercely, secretly

Yellow moon face on tender stalks of limbs.

He has never seen a strange woman’s hair uncovered before,

the pink in it confuses him.

He does not understand the glitter on my toenails.

So I turn away, feel weights press into my back.

Moon boy,

how do I tell you this?

your eyes are honey

and I am perhaps more enamored of you

than you are of the idea of me.

Source: http://new-poets-society.tumblr.com/post/70956511115/the-boy-in-the-bazaar

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Ithaca

When you set out for Ithaka

ask that your way be long,

full of adventure, full of instruction.

The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,

angry Poseidon - do not fear them:

such as these you will never find

as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare

emotion touch your spirit and your body.

The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,

angry Poseidon - you will not meet them

unless you carry them in your soul,

unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.

At many a Summer dawn to enter

with what gratitude, what joy -

ports seen for the first time;

to stop at Phoenician trading centres,

and to buy good merchandise,

mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,

and sensuous perfumes of every kind,

sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;

to visit many Egyptian cities,

to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaka always in your mind.

Your arrival there is what you are destined for.

But don't in the least hurry the journey.

Better it last for years,

so that when you reach the island you are old,

rich with all you have gained on the way,

not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.

Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.

Without her you would not have set out.

She hasn't anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn't deceived you.

So wise you have become, of such experience,

that already you'll have understood what these Ithakas mean. 

Constantine P. Cavafy

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Allamah Iqbal in his signature style addressing God.

 

From Gabriel's Wing (Baal-e-Jibreel)

 

 

Whether or not it moves you,
At least listen to my complaint—
It is not redress this free spirit seeks.

 

This handful of dust,
This fiercely blowing wind,
And these vast, limitless heavens—
Is the delight You take in creation
A blessing or some wanton joke?

 

The tent of the rose could not withstand
The wind blowing through the garden:
Is this the spring season,
And this the auspicious wind?

 

I am at fault, and in a foreign land,
But the angels never could make habitable
That wasteland of yours.

 

That stark wilderness,
That insubstantial world of Yours
Gratefully remembers my love of hardship.

 

An adventurous spirit is ill at ease
In a garden where no hunter lies in ambush.

 

The station of love is beyond the reach of
Your angels,
Only those of dauntless courage are up to it.

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