‘Majnūn’ was an unflattering epithet in the social circles that I frequented. The word alluded disparagingly to a failed lover, a good-for-nothing outcast.
Here was my very own Eliza Doolittle, the Audrey Hepburn to my Rex Harrison. My Fair Lady in person. What all I could do with her. I was rip-roaring to get started.
En esos momentos es cuando me gustaba ir al encuentro de los molinos en lo alto del cerro para sentarme a los pies de” esos gigantes con aspas” sintiendo que todos mis problemas iban a ser triturados por las ruedas del molino y lanzados al viento que los alejaría de mi al infinito de esa llanura castellana sin fin.
I enjoyed going to meet the windmills at the top of the hill to sit at the feet of “those giants with blades” feeling that all my problems could be ground down in the wheels of the mill and thrown to the wind that would take them far from me into the infinite space of that endless Castilian plain.
In Blackout, Faiz mixes images of Muslim and Hindu sacred origins as a symbolic defiance of the Partition. In the lyrical and romantic poem Ya’d’ (Memory or Remembrance), the pain of separation from the beloved (Jan) and exile (fira’q & hijr) also represent a yearning for the pre-Partition problematic, undivided self. In these lyrical poems, Faiz constantly raises questions of ‘home’ and ‘exile’, that defy the space of separation of the two nation-states.
I can tell by the way Abidah Puhpo speaks, how proud she is of her uncles’ accomplishments, but she herself is no less accomplished. Fluent in five languages, she has translated one of my books into Urdu. Her choice of words has made my stories come alive. They sound better than my English words. She is the keeper of our family stories. Her memory is flawless. I watch her speak and wonder how she will narrate her own story. I want to know more about her herstory.
The only sound was of the wind, soughing through the firs, standing fair and square to the wind with the cones firmly attached despite the efforts of the wind.
The “open-endedness” of the The Hearing Trumpet by British writer, Leonora Carrington, represents life. In the afterword to the newest edition, Polish Nobel Laurette, Olga Tokarczuk, praises the “wild metaphysics” of the story as well as its open-endedness. Here Tokarczuk questions what we look for when we read a story, and then answers that question, thus: “We are seeking a shared communal order, each of us a stitch in a piece of knitted fabric.” As readers, then, we are knitting ourselves into the yarn, till the end and beyond.
Undocumented immigrants in the US, persecuted minorities of Pakistan, people nostalgic for life under tyranny in Eastern Europe, how do we empathize with those who experience such trauma? Journalists tell us what happens to them; poets, artists, and fiction writers make us feel with them. So if you’ve been following the latest news about Palestine, and you want to feel with the people of Palestine, consider reading or listening to Isabella Hammad’s The Parisian.
Sado ni yokotau
the rough sea
stretching out towards Sado
the Milky Way
The cities also house two literary shrines. In Lahore, Urdu Short Story writer, Saadat Hasan Manto is buried. And in Delhi is the mazar of the father of Urdu poetry, Mirza Assad Ullah Khan Ghālib. They lived in different times but they are connected by the words they wrote.
Each letter has its place related to lines that have already been drawn. At times, a letter grandstands at the opening of a sentence, and at others a it announces the end. Sometimes it must connect with the letters on each side, smoothly, mixing in becoming one of the group. And then there are those that connect awkwardly and prefer their own space, distant from others.
The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros, is one of the many texts I chose for my ESL classes. With a poetic mix of Spanish and English, the story of Esperanza is the story of immigrants and home.
Much has been written about Charles, twenty years older than Ms. Liddell, and his relationship with the little girl. Did he feel any pangs of tender passion, romantic attachment or an aberrant sexual attraction to the little girl, or was it all innocent and pure, merely a platonic fondness with which he was drawn to the little girl on an entirely spiritual plane?
Bk. 5. 1: In the morning, when you find it hard to rouse yourself from your sleep, have these thoughts ready at hand: ‘I am rising to do the work of a human being. Soon I will have a mug, (with Marcus emblazoned on it, or another with the words Amor Fati, Love your Fate, not just accept it, but desire it), steaming with dark-roast coffee.
I think Tess of the d’Urbervilles is to the English, what Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is to the French and Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is to the Russians – themes of sexual encounters, challenge to societal norms, infidelity, carnal desires and passion.
“I don’t want to discourage you, but a mismatched sock has no future,” said a stiff, cocky shirt that also hung from the rope.
Read A complete translation here: The Story of the Unpaired Sock Jamás se le pasaría por su pequeña cabeza de lana a aquel viejo calcetín que cuando saliese de la… Read more Historia de un calcetín desparejado por Eduardo González Constán (with a complete translation) →
Poetry is all about listening to yourself and listening to those “voices” that speak to you. The way I write poetry is by listening to these voices that begin like hunches and even melodies, and for those who want to write poetry, my best advice is to grab a piece of paper and pencil and just do it.