Monday, September 13, 2004

Selected Poems - Kaifi Azmi

Like any native Tamil, I too didn't learn Hindi or any language other than English at school. Naturally, the only vernacular writers we knew where the one's whose works were translated into English. And the translation scene in Tamilnadu is very poor. What we are missing due to our parochialism, bordering on hatred of any other language is what I thought when I finished reading this book.

Kaifi Azmi's poems are simple, talk about emotions beautifully, and other than a few left leaning poems there is hardly any rhetoric in them. The translator has done a good job of maintaining the rhyme and metre. The book contains carefully selected poems, a few ghazals and the songs Kaifi wrote for the movie Kagaz ke Phool. Read the book for the sensual pleasure of poetry. Given below is my favourite from the book.

A Moment in time
Life is the name given to a few moments, and
In but one of those fleeting moments
Two eyes meet eloquently
Looking up from a cup of tea, and
Enter the heart piercingly
And say
Today do not speak
I'll be silent too
Let's sit just.
Holding each other's hand
United by this gift of sorrow
Bonded by the stirring of emotions.
Who knows if in this very moment
Somewhere in the distant monutain
The snow atlast may start to thaw.



Vetrimagal said...

yes, beautiful. And I appreciate your frank blog. It is sad that we dont appreciate other good writers. Our language is so rich, we are so exposed to good literature, it should come easy for us to appreciate others.

another wanderer said...

another one of kaifi azmi's poems that you may like : he wrote this one after guru dutt's death:

No one comes to this world to live forever
But no one leaves the world in quite your manner

For once, death, too, must have been disconcerted
For no one has embraced death in quite your manner

I fear lest the ocean may be blotted up
For no one sprinkles their ashes in quite your manner

You bore a grudge against the tavern-keeper
For no one slakes their thirst with poison, in quite your manner

I accept that you were saved by the light
But no one extinguishes the lamp in quite your manner

No one comes to this world to live forever
But no one leaves the world in quite your manner