Faiz Ahmad Faiz was a revolutionary, an anti-imperialist and one of the greatest poets to ever walk the earth. He is considered by some to be the national poet of Pakistan and many of his poems have become popular songs. This perhaps his most famous poem begins with a beautiful description of a love affair and infatuation, but the idyll is suddenly interrupted by injustice in the world and the poet declares that he must renounce the cocooon of romantic love for something else.
Faiz Ahmad Faiz
That which then was ours, my love,
don’t ask me for that love again.
The world then was gold, burnished with light –
and only because of you. That’s what I had believed.
How could one weep for sorrows other than yours?
How could one have any sorrow but the one you gave?
So what were these protests, these rumors of injustice?
A glimpse of your face was evidence of springtime.
The sky, wherever I looked, was nothing but your eyes.
If You’d fall into my arms, Fate would be helpless.
All this I’d thought, all this I’d believed.
But there were other sorrows, comforts other than love.
The rich had cast their spell on history:
dark centuries had been embroidered on brocades and silks.
Bitter threads began to unravel before me
as I went into alleys and in open market
ssaw bodies plastered with ash, bathed in blood.
I saw them sold and bought, again and again.
This too deserves attention. I can’t help but look back
when I return from those alleys –what should one do?
And you still are so ravishing –what should I do?
There are other sorrows in this world,
comforts other than love.
Don’t ask me, my love, for that love again.