A poem of love and longing by Parveen Shakir

I rediscovered this exquisite poem by Parveen Shakir after years. This is an intense love poem of rare beauty. It is composite, taut and melodic. I have tried to translate it – however, the impossibility of a translation haunts me..

More so, the reality of days gone by, the visions lost haunts me even more..

Dedicated to those who stand by the sea of evening colours and moods and want to merge with their expanse. And, to someone who lives with time present and time past with equal ease..

yay haseen shaam apni

yay haseen shaam apni
abhi jiss meiN ghul rahi hai
teray parahan kee khushboo
abhi jiss meiN khil rahay heiN
meray khawab kay shagoofay
zera dair ka hai manzar

zera dair meiN ufq par
khilay ga koi sitaara
teri simt daik kar woh
karay ga koi ishara
teray dil ko aayay ga phir
kissi yaad ka bullawa
koi qissa-ay judaaee, koi kaar-ay naamukamal
koi khawab-ay naa shagufta, koi baat kehnay wali

humeiN chaahiyay tha milna
kissi ahad-ay mehrbaaN meiN
kissi khawab kay yaqeeN meiN
kissi aur aasmaaN par
kissi aur sarzameeN meiN
humeiN chahiyay tha milna…

Here is the odd translation rendered by this blogger.

This melting evening of ours
Where everything dissolves
the scent of your clothes
the blossoming
sprouts of my dreams

All dissolves

A deferred vision, this is

In a little while,
a star will emerge on the horizon
To gaze at you
Your heart shall then reminisce
the echo of a memory
The tale of a separation,
Of an unfinished moment
Of unblossomed dreams, things unsaid

We ought to have met
In times, considerate
In pursuit of attainable dreams
On a different sky
On a different earth
We ought to have met

Picture by Raza Rumi

  • http://sidhusaaheb.blogspot.com Sidhusaaheb


  • http://iditis.blogspot.com IMeMy

    What moving sentiments! The translation of the last three lines is so evocative; wonder what the original does!

  • http://www.sajshirazi.blogspot.com Shirazi

    Ya, but where is that different earth, that different sky. Tell me please…

  • Anais

    How lovely… thank you for this. I wanted to stay with it, felt an urge to tweak… taking liberties and with no idea of accuracy. Therefore, a version in full realisation of its impossibility:

    a melting twilight
    the world in its entirety dissolves

    the scent of you…
    the blossoming
    pullulation of dreams

    all dissolves

    … a vision deferred

    in a while
    a star will emerge on the horizon
    to gaze at you
    replete with meaning
    … your heart shall then reminisce,
    there shall be an echo of a memory…
    the tale of a separation,
    of an unfinished moment…
    of dreams unborn, thoughts unsaid

    we ought to have met
    in another time
    in pursuit of attainable dreams
    below a different sky
    upon a different earth
    we ought to have met then, there…


  • RR

    Siddhu ji: thanks

    Id: thanks for dropping by – we have to start with your Urdu lessons ASAP…:)

    Shirazi Bhai: Wish we knew the answers to your metaphysical question..well, we can always search for such a sky and such a zameen…

    Dear Anais: Many thanks -your translation is brilliant – I will post it separately again..maybe on the Pak Tea House blog as well – http://www.pakteahouse.wordpress.com

    please render more translations if you can for the blog -we need to introduce the world to the pleasures of Urdu poetry. thanks again

  • Junaid

    its hard to get over…kisi aur asman, kisi aur sarzameen … what would be this world without poetry…its intoxicating really

  • Asmapk

    thanks for sharing this beautiful piece with us Raza.

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    What a sexy blog, love the theme, what are you using?

  • Mariam

    It is indeed a lovely poem! It has also been sung beautifully by tina sani.

  • http://www.poempoetry.blogspot.com Huzaifa Tabassum

    It is indeed very good poem by parvin shakir…. thnx for sharing

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  • http://urduwebsite.blogspot.com Ayesha

    I am biggest fan of Parveen

    Shakir and this is one of better part of her.

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    Curiously, a well executed piece…

  • Poonam Singh

    Wow! sublime poetry ! Thanks for the post….unforgettable !

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  • http://shaistathinks.wordpress.com Shaista Hussain

    RR: thanks for sharing this!
    I have cross linked this post on my blog.


  • Erum

    The original poem, in Urdu, reminds me of this:

    “And dark scents whisper; and dim waves creep to me,
    Gleam like a woman’s hair, stretch out, and rise;
    And new stars burn into the ancient skies,
    Over the murmurous soft Hawaian sea.

    And I recall, lose, grasp, forget again,
    And still remember, a tale I have heard, or known,
    An empty tale, of idleness and pain,
    Of two that loved — or did not love — and one
    Whose perplexed heart did evil, foolishly,
    A long while since, and by some other sea.”

    – From “Waikiki” by Rupert Brook

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