Poetry Corner: When Autumn Came

Triggered by a conversation today and dedicated to those who have not come across the work and poetry by Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Normally I would share something in Urdu (with a translation), as most of his work is in Urdu. However, then I came across this piece titled “When Autumn Came”, and I’ve not seen an Urdu version of this. If anyone knows of the the Urdu version please do leave the details in a comment. This poem is included in “The True Subject: Selected Poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz” by Naomi Lazard (1987).

This is the way that autumn came to the trees:
it stripped them down to the skin,
left their ebony bodies naked.
It shook out their hearts, the yellow leaves,
scattered them over the ground.
Anyone could trample them out of shape
undisturbed by a single moan of protest.

The birds that herald dreams
were exiled from their song,
each voice torn out of its throat.
They dropped into the dust
even before the hunter strung his bow.

Oh, God of May have mercy.
Bless these withered bodies
with the passion of your resurrection;
make their dead veins flow with blood again.

Give some tree the gift of green again.
Let one bird sing.

Read more about Faiz:

Faiz Ahmed Faiz: Life and poetry, Dawn 17 Feb 2011

Profile and work: Rekhta

Jabbar, Abdul. “NAOMI LAZARD’S ‘The True Subject: Selected Poems of Faiz Ahmed Faiz.’” Journal of South Asian Literature 26, no. 1/2 (1991): 156–70. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40873227.


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