|Earth in Pain Painting by Joe Kotas
Ghazal: The weeds may flourish, let the path go on
The weeds may flourish, let the path go on
Even if I am tired, let the caravan move on.
The sun and moon–our ancestors’ guides
Even if they extinguish, let the breeze move on.
O, ruler of the town, what sort of town is this?
The mosques may be closed, let the taverns run on.
Call it faith, or the craft of politics
The art of suicide you taught us well.
So many corpses, how will I shoulder them?
The virtue of bricks you preserved so well.
Bring the shovels, open earth’s layers
Where I am buried, let me know as well.
Khar-au-khas to uthein, raasta to chale, Kaifi Azmi (Translation from Azmikaifi.com)
Good day, poets! This is Anmol (alias HA) and I thought of introducing you all to a poet who may not be very known to you. One of the most prominent writers in Urdu, Kaifi Azmi is well renowned for bringing the nuances of Urdu poetry and literature to Indian cinema. He was a member of Progressive Writers' Association, of which other members included such great poets and writers of the subcontinent like Ismat Chughtai, Saadat Hasan Manto, Mulk Raj Anand, Premchand, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz, who still enthrall us with their creative and evocative subjects and themes. It's the birth centenary of Kaifi Azmi this year and thus, I think that there is no better time than this to have a conversation about the idea of socio-political narrative in creative arts.
Recently, I attended a talk by an Indian journalist I really admire, P. Sainath. On writing (primarily journalistic writing), he talked about how important it is for writers to immerse themselves into the great processes of their times. He talked about some such great processes of this century like climate change, big corporations, inequalities still persistent in our society, et al. He talked about engaging with these processes and bringing to foray the very lived human experiences and impacts in what you write. What do you think about the same? How important do you think it is for the creative and literary writers like poets and novelists to engage with such themes and subject matters?
For The Tuesday Platform, share one link to a poem, old or new, by adding it to the linking widget down below. Do not forget to visit others and share your thoughts about their linked poems with them. Have a wonderfully poetic week ahead!