Before You Came

Before you came things were just what they were:
the road precisely a road, the horizon fixed,
the limit of what could be seen,
a glass of wine was no more than a glass of wine.

With you the world took on the spectrum
radiating from my heart: your eyes gold
as they open to me, slate the color
that falls each time I lost all hope.

With your advent roses burst into flame:
you were the artist of dried-up leaves, sorceress
who flicked her wrist to change dust into soot.
You lacquered the night black.

As for the sky, the road, the cup of wine:
one was my tear-drenched shirt,
the other an aching nerve,
the third a mirror that never reflected the same thing.

Now you are here again—stay with me.
This time things will fall into place;
the road can be the road,
the sky nothing but sky;
the glass of wine, as it should be, the glass of wine.

by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Comments (4)

tum jo naa aa'e the to har chiiz vahii thii kih jo hai aasmaaN hadd-e-nazar, raahguzar raahguzar, shiishaah-e-mai, shiishaah-e-mai aur ab shiishaah-e-mai, raahguzar, rang-e-falak rang hai dil kaa mere, khoon-e-jigar hone tak champaa'i rang kabhii, raahat-e-diidaar kaa rang sur'ma'ii rang kabhii, saa'at-e-bezaar kaa rang zard pattoN kaa xas-o-xaar kaa rang surkh phuuloN kaa, dahakte hu'e gulzaar kaa rang zahar kaa rang, lahuu rang. shab-e-taar kaa rang aasmaaN, rahguzar, shiishaah-e-mai koii bhiigaa hu'aa daaman, ko'ii dukhtii hu'ii rag ko'ii har lahzaah badaltaa hu'aa aa'iinaah hai ab jo aa'e ho to Thahro kih koii rang, koii rut ko'ii shai ek jagah par Thahre phir se ik baar har ik chiiz vahii ho ke jo hai aasmaaN hadd-e-nazar, rahguzar rahguzar, shiishaah-e-mai, shiishaah-e-mai
These are the words a woman wants to hear- -until they become part of her heartblood
Faiz your English in this poem is like a red carpet in the sky with words choosing each other like birds mating....wonders...10
Excellent translation of beautiful poem by Faiz. Thank you. Tasadduq Hussain Ejaz