Saturday, May 06, 2006

My favorite poems:)

Agha Shahid Ali (A Kashmiri Poet who wrote beautiful Ghazals in English, the following poem is copied from the collection Call me Ishmael Tonight. Its full of poignant and beautiful verse like the one copied here)

So I'll regret it. But lead my heart to pain.
Return, if it is just to leave me again.

"Till death do us part." Come for their sense of us...
For Belief's sake, let appearances remain.

Let YOU, at Elysian Fields, step off the streetcar-
So my sense of wonder's made utterly plain.

Not for mine but for the world's sake come back.
They ask why you left? To whom all must I explain?

I laughed when they said our time was running out-
I stirred the leaves in the tea I'd brewed to drain.

Break your pride, be the Consoler for once-
Bring roses, let my love illusion remain.

An era's passed since the luxury of tears-
Make me weep, Consoler, let blood know its rain.

From New York to Andalusia I searched for you-
Lorca, dazzled on your lips, is all of Spain.

"Time, like Love, wears a mask in this story."
And Love? My blind spot. Piercing me to the brain.

Oh, that my head were waters, mine eyes a fountain
So that I may weep day and night for the slain.

Shouting your name till last car had disappeared,
how I ran on the platform after your train.

To find her, 'round phantom-wrists I glue bangles-
What worlds she did not break when she left my lane!

Still beguiled with hopes of you, the heart is lit.
To put out this last candle, come, it burns in vain.

D. H. Lawrence (

No! Mr. Lawrence!

No, Mr Lawrence, it's not like that!
I don't mnd telling you
I know a thing or two about love,
perhaps more than you do.

And what I know is that you make it
too nice, too beautiful.
It's not like that, you know; you fake it.
It's really rather dull.

All I ask

All I ask of a woman is that she shall feel gently towards
when my heart feels kindly towards her,
and there shall be the soft, soft tremor as of unheard bells
between us.
It is all I ask.
I am so tired of violent women lashing out and insisting
on being loved, when there is no love in them.

Pablo Neruda

Sonnet XVII

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Don't go far off... by Pablo Neruda

Don't go far off, not even for a day, because --
because -- I don't know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don't leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you'll have gone so far
I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

1 comment:

Atrakasya said...

Apropos Neruda's "...I am so tired of violent women lashing out and insisting
on being loved, when there is no love in them...."
This is quite a lovely comment. This is what had always struck me in girls - very few of them actually had any softness, caring or tenderness (allegedly feminine qualities). And yet they demand on being treated with these qualities, as if it were their birthright that they were entitled to, without offering it themselves, unless it were for extracting something in return, or to claim the distinction of having those qualities, or for other equally stupid pretenses.