Introduction

Poem By Ishrat Afreen

Who am I
Don't scratch old wounds
Who am I
Not what you think I am.
I have grown up playing in the dust of my alleyways.
I learnt to fight for myself at an age when others dream dreams.I am that winsome bud which blooms on my forefather's graves
And must smilingly endure every punishment merely because it exists
I have no name
Call me by the name
Of the Great Ghalib who came before me
By the name of Mir.
Mir, who was hailed as the god of Poetics and verse
But who died in poverty.
The Great Ghalib
Who had to beg for his wine.

[Translated by Rukhsana Ahmad]

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Other poems of AFREEN

The First Prayer Of My Elders

From the womb of the night
A tiny ray of Light was thus born:
Night uncurled the lovely pink fists of Dawn
read her palm

To An Unfinished Man

This last experience made it clear to me:
despite your talents,
despite being tall and handsome as a man,
you're still a boy

The Dance

The silence
now nags,
and loneliness
Chirrups on the rooftop

Rose & Cotton

Gold bodies,
the girls toiling in the fields,
turned grey in the summer heat

Cold War

Yellow flowers-loving girl,
how long will you fear the girl inside you;
tell me, how long will you fight yourself?

Dedication

I grew
Taller than my father
And my mother won.