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Poem of the day

The little girl, though very ill,
Went out one morning
To wander, with faltering footsteps,
The nearby hill.
She brought back mountain flowers
In which she hid
A chrysalis and, unknowing, set it
Close beside her bed.

A few days later, at the moment
She lay dying,
We all gathered round, our eyes
Red with crying,
And at the instant she departed
The whisper of wings
Was heard, and through the window,
Taking flight, escaping
Into the waiting garden, wafted
A golden butterfly.

Hurriedly, I searched for the insect’s
Now empty prison,
Then turned my gaze to the dead child’s
Pallid brow.
If the winged butterfly, I thought, leaves
Its confining cell
To find light and space and the immensity
Of golden fields,
What shall the newly freed soul find when
It bursts its shell?

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Modern poem of the day

I longed for your lips, dreamed of their roses:
I was hanged from the dry branch of the scaffold.
I wanted to touch your hands, their silver light:
I was murdered in the half-light of dim lanes.

And there where you were crucified,
so far away from my words,
you still were beautiful:
color kept clinging to your lips–
rapture was still vivid in your hair–
light remained silvering in your hands.

When the night of cruelty merged with the roads you had taked,
I came as far as my feet could bring me,
on my lips the phrase of a song,
my heart lit up only by sorrow.
This sorrow was my testimony to your beauty–
Look! I remained a witness till the end,
I who was killed in the darkest lanes.

It’s true– that not to reach you was fate–
but who’ll deny that to love you
was entirely in my hands?
So why complain if these matters of desire
brought me inevitably to the execution grounds?

Why complain? Holding up our sorrows as banners,
new lovers will emerge
from the lanes where we were killed
and embark, in caravans, on those highways of desire.
It’s because of them that we shortened the distances of sorrow,
it’s because of them that we went out to make the world our own,
we who were murdered in the darkest lanes.

English Translation By Agha Shahid Ali

Posted By Muhammad Atif Ch.

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