I Had Planted A Sapling…

I Had Planted A Sapling…

Wish to share my literary mentor and prolifically Creative soul Max Babi‘s Urdu Poetry Transcreated In English by him..

Original in Urdu :

Pauda ek lagaya tha,
baghké banjarsé kauné mein-
ek billaski jaanko, badé chaavsé
qatra-ba-qatra zindagi pilayi thi :

kambakht jeeta rahaa martaa rahaa
sisasktaa rahaa mautké munh mein
lataktaa rahaa, koi ajeeb nashé mein
jhumtaa rahaa,
na jané kisko khaufzadaa shiddatsé
jhoortaa rahaa.
Kyaa anjaan taqat hai iss nanhi jaan mein-
kyaa zahur-o-jauhar hain yeh jamkar
reh gayé toofaan mein,
isské doh patté khilté hi bahaar phoonk deté

hain meri manhoos kahaani mein,
isskaa besharm nangaapan,
meré khwabonko bhi sukhaa deta hai.
Bina muskurayé, bina hadbadayé
mein dekh nahin saktaa usko.

(c) Max Babi


Trans created in English :

I had planted a sapling, in the arid corner of my garden,
I had made it quaff life itself drop by drop
The hapless being kept living, dying, moaning, with one foot
in the mouth of death, and kept swaying to some

weird intoxication all its own,
and God alone knows whom he kept yearning for
with a scared intensity.

What unknown forces it possesses, what intrepidity and aura
it commands, this frozen cyclone,
soon as it sprouts two leaves, it blows springtime in to
my hapless life-story, and when it strips completely,

it runs a famine through even my dreamscapes.
I can’t bear to look at it without a smile, or
without feeling all shaken up.

© 2008 by Max Babi
All rights reserved,
Copying without permission for non-personal use is forbidden


3 Responses to “I Had Planted A Sapling…”

  1. February 25, 2008 at 12:49 am

    I recognize the voice, the feeling: Euphoria sweeping one’s soul.

    Excellent, Max. I am so glad you translated this, which I, otherwise, would not have read.

  2. 3 John F Walter
    February 25, 2008 at 1:25 am

    I loved this poem for many reasons, but above all because it succeeds on both metaphorical and literal levels: The young tree is an extraordinary correlative for the speaker´s own inner being, the part of him that creates out of an inner necessity, as well as the part of him that watches over the creation. Truly a remarkable poem, in any language; I lamely recognize that I cannot alas read Urdu, so I will have to do with the transcreation, and thank my dear friend Max for having brought it into the world for those of us who must limp along with only a couple of languages (in my case English and Spanish) with which to interpret the world.

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