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Friday, February 23, 2007

The Faustus In Us

Reza Rumi put a Parveen Shakir poem up… I could not resist translating it:

The Faustus In Us

in (more than) a sense
we resemble Faustus
some sell their soul
for passion, circumstances
force others, some get away
pawning their eyes
to trade in visions
some offer their minds
as collateral
it's amusing to see
the purchasing power of money
surveying life's wall street, we find
self respect is the object d'art
most in demand today

1 Comments:

Anonymous Raza Rumi said...

T, many thanks for reading my post and then making this wonderful effort and also for leaving a comment at Jahane Rumi.

Your translation is more compact and reflective of Parveen's modern sensibilities and towards the end of her short career, she was getting more and more direct and political. If you recall her initial poetry was mostly love poetry with fresh diction and overtly feminine expression (not quite popular among Urdu female poets).

I liked these lines:

pawning their eyes
to trade in visions
some offer their minds
as collateral

However, the last lines and their irony, the overall satire (creating a total impact) and the 'kaat' as we would call in Urdu is not that apparent. This is my major and perhaps the only critical comment.
Bravo again
RR

February 15, 2007 11:35 AM  

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