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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Parveen Shakir: The Faustus in Us

In February 2007 I came across a poem by Parveen Shakir on Jahane Rumi. Alamgir Hashmi had also transcreated it in English. Here is the original and then his transcreation.

In current times, with the economic tsunami playing havoc all over the world, her poem has acquired greater relevancy.

We Are All Dr Faustus

In a way we are all
Dr Faustus.

One from his craze
and another helpless from blackmail
barters away his soul.
One mortgages his eyes
to trade in dreams
and another offers
his mind as collateral.

All that one may need sense
is the currency of the day.

So a survey of life’s Wall Street says
that among those with the buying power these days
self-respect is very popular.


And here is my attempt at transcreating Parveen Shakir's poem.


The Faustus In Us

in more than one sense
we resemble Dr. Faustus
some sell their soul for passion

or are blackmailed into doing so

others get away
pawning their eyes
to trade in visions
a few offer their minds
as collateral.
succumbing to the power
of crisp notes.
surveying life's Wall Street, we find
self respect is the object d'art
most in demand today


Blogger Admin said...

Perveen Shakar was indeed a great poetess.

June 01, 2009 6:05 AM  

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