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Remembering Kashmir’s Beloved Poet On His Death Anniversary

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In line with the Poetry Basis,

Agha Shahid Ali was born in New Delhi, India in 1949. He grew up in Kashmir, the son of a distinguished and extremely educated household in Srinagar. He attended the College of Kashmir, the College of Delhi and, upon arriving in the USA in 1975, Pennsylvania State College and the College of Arizona. Although a Kashmiri Muslim, Ali is greatest recognized within the U.S. and recognized himself as an American poet writing in English. The recipient of quite a few fellowships and awards and a finalist for the Nationwide Ebook Award, he taught on the College of Massachusetts-Amherst, Princeton School and within the MFA program at Warren Wilson School. On the time of his dying in 2001, Ali was famous as a poet uniquely capable of mix a number of ethnic influences and concepts in each conventional types and stylish free-verse. His poetry displays his Hindu, Muslim, and Western heritages. In Modern Poets, critic Bruce King remarked that Ali’s poetry swirls round insecurity and “obsessions [with]…memory, death, history, family ancestors, nostalgia for a past he never knew, dreams, Hindu ceremonies, friendships, and self-consciousness about being a poet.”

In as we speak’s submit, we might be taking a look at a few of the most exceptional poems by Agha Shahid Ali.


Prompt learn: Aubade And Different Tom Sleigh Poems


Greatest poems by Agha Shahid Ali 

  1. A Historical past of Paisley

You who will discover the darkish fossils of paisleys
one afternoon on the peaks of Zabarvan –
Dealer from an historic market of the longer term,
alibi of chronology, that useless
collaborator of time – gained’t know that these
are her footprints from the day the world started.

(Oh see, it’s nonetheless the day the world begins:
and the town rises, holding its stays,
its picket beams already their very own hearth’s prophets.)

And also you, now touching sky, deaf to her anklets
nonetheless echoing within the valley, deaf to males
fleeing from troopers into dead-end lanes

(Look! Their ft bleed; they depart footprints on the road
which can surrender its material, at nightfall, a carpet) –
you have got found-you’ll think- the primary teardrop, gem
that was enticed for a mogul diadem
into design…

…three males are discussing, between
sips of tea, undiscovered routes on emerald
seas, ships with almonds, with shawls for Egypt.
It’s nightfall. The gauze is torn. A weaver kneels,
gathers falling threads. Quickly he’ll sew the air.

(The Nation with no publish workplace, 1997)

  1. A Pastoral

on the wall the dense ivy of executions
—ZBIGNIEW HERBERT

We will meet once more, in Srinagar,

by the gates of the Villa of Peace,

our palms blossoming into fists

until the troopers return the keys

and disappear. Once more we’ll enter

our final world, the primary that vanished

in our absence from the damaged metropolis.

We’ll tear our shirts for tourniquets

and bind the open thorns, heat the ivy

into roses. Fast, by the pomegranate—

the hen will say—Humankind can bear

every thing. No have to cease the ear

to tales rumored in branches: We’ll hear

our gardener’s voice, the best way we did

as youngsters, clear beneath timber he’d planted:

“It’s true, my dying, on the mosque entrance,

within the bloodbath, when the Name to Prayer

opened the floodgates”—Fast, comply with the silence—

“and dawn rushed into everyone’s eyes.”

Will we comply with the horned lark, pry

open the again gate into the poplar groves,

go previous the search publish into the cemetery,

the mud nonetheless uneasy on hurried graves

with no names, like all new ones within the metropolis?

“It’s true” (we’ll hear our gardener

once more). “That hen is silent all winter.

Its voice returns in spring, a plaintive cry.

That’s when it noticed the mountain falcon

rip open, in mid-air, the blue magpie,

then carry it, limp from the talons.”

Pluck the blood: My phrases will echo thus

at sundown, by the ivy, however to what objective?

Within the drawer of the cedar stand,

white within the verandah, we’ll discover letters:

When the publish workplaces died, the mailman

knew we’d return to reply them. Higher

if he’d allow them to velocity to dying,

blacked out by Autumn’s Press Belief

not like this, taking away our breath,

holding it with love’s nameless

scripts: “See how your world has cracked.

Why aren’t you right here? The place are you? Come again.

Is historical past deaf there, throughout the oceans?”

Fast, the hen will say. And we’ll attempt

the keys, with the primary one open the door

into the drawing room. Mirror after mirror,

textiled by mud, will blind us to our return

as we mild oil lamps. The glass map of our nation,

nonetheless on the wall, will tear us to lace—

We’ll go previous our ancestors, up the staircase,

holding their wills towards our hearts. Their want

was we return—endlessly!—and inherit(Fast, the hen

will say) that to which we belong, not like this—

to get information of our demise after the world’s.

(for Suvir Kaul)


Prompt learn: “You Didn’t Show Up, I Keep Waiting”: Richard Siken Poems To Heal Your Coronary heart


  1. Ghazal

Really feel the affected person’s coronary heart
Pounding—oh please, this as soon as—
—JAMES MERRILL

I’ll do what I need to if I’m daring in actual time.

A refugee, I’ll be paroled in actual time.

Cool proof clawed off like shirts of hell-fire?

A former existence untold in actual time …

The one you’d select: Have been you led then by him?

What longing, O Yaar, is managed in actual time?

Every syllable sucked underneath waves of our earth—

The funeral love comes to carry in actual time!

They left him alive in order that he could possibly be lonely—

The god of small issues shouldn’t be consoled in actual time.

Please afterwards empty my pockets of keys—

It’s hell within the metropolis of gold in actual time.

God’s angels once more are—for Devil!—forlorn.

Salvation was purchased however sin bought in actual time.

And who’s the terrorist, who the sufferer?

We’ll know if the nation is polled in actual time.

“Behind a door marked DANGER” are being unwound

the prayers my good friend had enscrolled in actual time.

The throat of the rearview and sliding down it

the Road of Farewell’s now unrolled in actual time.

I heard the incessant dissolving of silk—

I felt my coronary heart rising so previous in actual time.

Her coronary heart have to be ash the place her physique lies burned.

What hope lets your arms rake the chilly in actual time?

Now Good friend, the Belovèd has stolen your phrases—

Learn slowly: The plot will unfold in actual time.

(for Daniel Corridor)

  1. I See Chile In My Rearview Mirror

By darkish the world is as soon as once more intact,

Or so the mirrors, cleaned, attempt to purpose. . .

                                       —James Merrill

This dream of water—what does it harbor?

I see Argentina and Paraguay

underneath a curfew of glass, their colours

breaking, like oil. The night time in Uruguay

is black salt. I’m driving towards Utah,

holding the whole hemisphere in view—

Colombia vermilion, Brazil blue tar,

some nations cleaned of colour: Peru

is titanium white. And all the time oceans

that cover in mirrors: when beveled edges

arrest tides or this world’s locations

forsake ships. There’s Sedona, Nogales

far behind. As soon as I went via a mirror—

from there too the world, so intact, resembled

solely itself. Once I returned I tore

the pores and skin off the glass. The ocean was unsealed

by darkish, and I noticed ships sink off the coast

of a wounded republic. Now from a blur

of tanks in Santiago, a white horse

gallops, riderless, chased by drunk troopers

in a jeep; they’re firing into the moon.

And as I hold driving within the desert,

somebody is operating to catch the final bus, males

hanging on to its sides. And he’s missed it.

He’s operating once more; crescents of metal

fall from the sky. And right here the rocks

are beneath fog, the cedars a temple,

Sedona carved by the wind into gods—

every shadow their worshiper. The siren

empties Santiago; he watches

—from a hush of home windows—blindfolded males

blurred in gleaming vans. The horse vanishes

right into a dream. I’m passing skeletal

figures carved in 700 B.C.

Whoever deciphers these canyon partitions

stays forsaken, alone with historical past,

no harbor for his dream. And what else will

this mirror now purpose, crammed with water?

I see Peru with out rain, Brazil

with out forests—and right here in Utah a dagger

of daylight: it’s splitting—it’s the summer time

solstice—the quartz middle of a spiral.

Did the Anasazi know the darker

reply additionally—given now in crystal

by the mirrored continent? The solstice,

however of winter? A beam stabs the window,

diamonds him, a funeral in his eyes.

Within the lit stadium of Santiago,

that is the shortest day. He’s taken there.

These about to die are taking a look at him,

his eyes the ledger of the disappeared.

What is going to the mirror attempt now? I’m driving,

nonetheless north, all the time adopted by that nation,

its flooring ice, its residents so lovesick

that the bottom—sheer glass—of each metropolis

is torn up. They demand the republic

give again, jeweled, their each reflection.

They dig until daybreak however discover solely corpses.

He has returned to this dream for his bones.

The waters darken. The continent vanishes.

  1. Okay.L. Saigal

Nostalgic for Baba’s youth,
I make you come back
his wasted era:

I do know you felt
all of it: the ruined
boys echoed

by way of you,
switched their sorrow
on the radio:

the needle turned
to your legend.
you all the time got here

with notes of insanity,
the wi-fi
sucked your

drunkenness:
you quietly died,
singing

them to a sleep
of Time
Counting the ruins

of many years,
the boys have been left,
caressed

with the air’s
delirium.
Now two generations

late,
you retreat with my sanity,
Death caught within the throat!


Prompt learn: Renascence And Different Poems By Edna Millay


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Greatest Poems By Agha Shahid Ali: Remembering Kashmir’s Beloved Poet On His Death Anniversary

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Riya Roy

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In at present’s submit, we shall be taking a look at a number of the most exceptional poems by Agha Shahid Ali.

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