Literature

Hoping for Light; works of Akhtar Jafri— Hilde Jacobs

 

TRANSLATIONS OF THE GREAT PAKISTAN URDU POET AKHTAR HUSSAIN JAFRI

HISTORIC POEMS OF AKHTAR HUSSAIN JAFRI, WRITTEN DURING THE ERA OF GEN. ZIA UL HAQ’S MARTIAL LAW. BEAUTIFULLY TRANSLATED into English BY MOHAMMAD SALEEM UR REHMAN

Translated into German by Hilde-Habiba Khatoon

 

HOW BRIGHT THE FIRE

Day after day

Persons and words

And correlations

And gasping birds

Fly out the chimneys,

Fly up and cling

To the ceiling

Of an illusive sky-

A make-believe,

As if there were

A blue sea up there.

In every drop

An intense thirst.

Each wave enfolds

A whole desert.

The knife-edged beaks

Of thirsty birds

Lance through the mirrors

All day, all night,

Probing for the well

In which there lie millions of homeless

Who may one day be

Prophets in another country,

A well whose vision

Holds nothing but

Mere noisome waters.

How bright the fire!

 

WIE HELL DIE FLAMMEN

Tag für Tag

fliegen Gestalten und Wörter

und Abhängigkeiten

und nach Luft ringende Vögel

aus den Schornsteinen,

fliegen hoch und haften

an den Decken

eines illusionären Himmels –

Vorgaukelung eines blau leuchtenden Meeres.

In jedem Tropfen

ein unbändiger Durst,

jede Welle entfaltet

eine weite Wüste.

Die messerscharfen Schnäbel

der durstigen Vögel

durchbohren die Spiegel

Tag für Tag und Nacht für Nacht

und erforschen den Brunnen,

in dem Millionen von Heimatlosen liegen,

die vielleicht  eines Tages

Propheten in einem anderen Land sein werden;

ein Brunnen, dessen Traumbild

nichts als übel riechendes Wasser enthält.

 Wie hell die Flammen!

 

   THE UNATTAINABLE

 The lips are parched, the wells are dry.

Where the river ran only the dust blows by.

 

What sun shell with its intense heat

dissolve the iron dawn ?

What moon shall with its chill splash

quench the thirstiness of night ?

 

what cravings prompt the dainty feet

to tread a rocky path ?

what do the mirrors mean when they

indulge in daily masquerade ?

 

The lips are parched , the wells are dry.

Where the river ran only the dust blows by

 

DAS UNERFÜLLBARE

 Die Lippen ausgedörrt, die Brunnen leer,

wo einst der Fluss,

fliegt nur noch Staub umher.

 

Was soll die Sonne, die mit glühender Hitze

die bleierne Dämmerung zerfließen lässt?

Was soll der Mond, der mit kaltem Strahl

den Durst der Nächte stillt?

 

Welches Verlangen ermuntert die anmutigen Füße,

auf dem steinigen Pfad zu schreiten?

Was bedeuten die Spiegelbilder,

wenn sie der täglichen Maskerade verfallen?

 

Die Lippen ausgedörrt, die Brunnen leer,

wo einst der Fluss,

fliegt nur noch Staub umher.

 

PREMONITIONS

The ants, there must be millions of them, scurry about

On the dirt floor, completely tensed up, milling

To save what they, in thrift, had laid aside,

As if a great storm were in the offing.

 

When from the roof which creaks and groans

The weary dust trickles down like sand

On the yellowed termite-eaten panels

Of the door, the trees, talking in low tones,

Think that one of the walls is sure to topple.

 

And on the rooftop the girls who carry

In an iron basin mud which will do for mortar

Are not quite sure where they should place the bricks

Fashioned form blood or where to set the eyes,

The unseeing eyes, which have changed into stones.

 

VORAHNUNGEN

Die Ameisen – es müssen Millionen sein –
eilen äußerst angespannt auf dem schmutzigen Boden umher
und sammeln ein, was sie sparsam zur Seite legten,
als ob ein großer Sturm aufkommen würde.

Wenn vom knarrenden, stöhnenden Dach
der schwere Staub wie Sand auf die vergilbten,
Termiten-zerfressenen Türpaneelen rieselt,
denken die leise wispernden Bäume,
dass eine der Mauern mit Sicherheit einstürzen wird.

 Und die Mädchen auf dem Hausdach,
die den Lehm in eisernen Trögen tragen,
um daraus Mörtel zu machen, sind sich nicht ganz sicher,
wo sie die aus Blut geformten Ziegel hinlegen sollen,
oder wohin mit den Augen,
den blinden Augen, die sich in Steine verwandelt haben.

 

 ACROSS THE DISARRAYED SKETCH OF EVENING

Words do not tell

what lies ahead,

hidden in the heart of every moment,

beyond the bright scroll of morning,

away from bustle and bustle of noon,

or across the disarrayed sketch of evening.

How we cherish to comprehend

the chirping of a wounded bird,

and want to know what’s written

on the wings of butterflies.

none can speak such tongues,

here, on Earth.

Wherefore is the hectic chase of Moon

going round and round ?

what a dream of dialogue with self;

fond longing for companionship,

without learning the language of companionship ;

The tear trickling from your eye

drew such a line down to the corner of your lip,

that separation lies on both sides of it.

Against the worn out sky of light

the bird pierced by an arrow

flutters its wings,

but alas, none can comprehend,

or speak the tongue of the wounded bird,

here, on Earth.

 

DAS WIRRE BILD EINES ABENDS

 Mit Worten ist nicht zu beschreiben,

was jederzeit verborgen in der Seele liegt,

jenseits der strahlenden Perle des Morgens,

abseits vom geschäftigen Treiben des Mittags

oder über dem Wirrwarr des Abends.

 

Wie gern möchten wir glauben,

das Zwitschern eines verwundeten Vogels zu begreifen,

und wie gern möchten wir wissen,

was auf den Flügeln von Schmetterlingen geschrieben steht!

Doch niemand kann derlei Sprache sprechen;

hier unten, auf der Erde.

 

Wozu die hektische Jagd des Mondes,

der fortwährend kreist?

Welch ein Traum vom Gespräch mit sich selbst,

welch zärtliche Sehnsucht nach Begleitung,

ohne die Sprache der Gefährten zu erlernen!

 

Die Träne, von deinem Auge rinnend,

zog solch eine Spur bis zum Winkel deiner Lippe,

dass sie beide Seiten voneinander trennte.

Der Vogel, von einem Pfeil durchbohrt,

flattert einem verwaschenen Himmelslicht entgegen,

doch ach!

niemand kann die Sprache des verwundeten Vogels

verstehen noch sprechen;

hier unten, auf der Erde.

 

 OF SEPARATION

Shall I remove the roof

from the standing wall?

And place the whole load of Earth

upon a moment which I do not own ?

The Earth is not deaf ;

It hears all.

The Sky is not  blind;

It watches all.

See that yonder window pane,

Freshly fitted with iron bars ?

And that over-trodden staircase,

Besmeared with a stain?

As you descended down those stairs,

Centuries came between us,

And parted us.

 

TRENNUNG

 Soll ich das Dach von der fest stehenden Mauer entfernen?

Und die ganze Last der Erde auf einen Augenblick werfen,

der mir nicht gehört?

Die Erde ist nicht taub;

sie hört alles.

Der Himmel ist nicht blind;

er beobachtet alles.

Siehst Du jene Fensterscheibe,

frisch mit eisernen Stäben versehen?

Und die ausgetretene Treppe,

verschmiert mit einem Flecken?

Als du diese Stufen herab gestiegen bist,

lagen Jahrhunderte zwischen uns

und trennten uns.

HILDE-HABIBA JACOBS IS A WRITER AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST BASED IN GERMANY.

Facebook Comments
32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Emile Schmelter

    June 18, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Hi there, everything is going perfectly here and ofcourse every one is sharing data, that’s truly excellent, keep up writing.|

  2. Sabine Frechette

    June 18, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Hello, I enjoy reading all of your article post. I like to write a little comment to support you.|

  3. Juanita Montella

    June 17, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    This web site certainly has all of the information I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask. |

  4. Willard Blann

    June 17, 2018 at 2:43 am

    It’s hard to find well-informed people for this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks|

  5. Kendall Slivka

    June 16, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Hello Dear, are you genuinely visiting this site regularly, if so after that you will absolutely obtain fastidious knowledge.|

  6. Lyn Cuesta

    June 16, 2018 at 3:41 am

    Hi, its pleasant piece of writing on the topic of media print, we all be aware of media is a wonderful source of facts.|

  7. Peter Bolognese

    June 15, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Wow, this paragraph is good, my younger sister is analyzing these things, thus I am going to let know her.|

  8. Andrew Armbruster

    June 15, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    It’s enormous that you are getting ideas from this post as well as from our argument made here.|

  9. Pete Jackiewicz

    June 15, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Good response in return of this difficulty with firm arguments and describing everything regarding that.|

  10. Dena Borkowski

    June 15, 2018 at 12:19 am

    Hi, yeah this paragraph is really pleasant and I have learned lot of things from it concerning blogging. thanks.|

  11. Lolita Oberhelman

    June 14, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    If some one needs to be updated with latest technologies therefore he must be go to see this site and be up to date every day.|

  12. Rafael Sanasith

    June 14, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    This paragraph is actually a fastidious one it helps new net people, who are wishing for blogging.|

  13. Minh Pistelli

    June 14, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    What’s up friends, its fantastic post concerning cultureand fully defined, keep it up all the time.|

  14. Lola Boeckx

    June 14, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any helpful hints for newbie blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.|

  15. Dwana Bicknell

    June 14, 2018 at 5:38 am

    Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a very good article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and don’t manage to get anything done.|

  16. Lucien Peatry

    June 14, 2018 at 1:03 am

    This post is actually a pleasant one it helps new internet people, who are wishing in favor of blogging.|

  17. Clemente Eunice

    June 13, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am in fact pleassant to read all at single place.|

  18. Barbie Radell

    June 13, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for every other informative website. Where else may just I am getting that type of information written in such a perfect manner? I’ve a project that I am simply now operating on, and I’ve been at the look out for such info.|

  19. Charley Moliterno

    June 13, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say fantastic blog!|

  20. Oleta Mendelson

    June 13, 2018 at 5:45 am

    First of all I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing. I’ve had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Many thanks!|

  21. Benton Schindel

    June 13, 2018 at 2:59 am

    Its such as you learn my thoughts! You seem to grasp so much about this, like you wrote the ebook in it or something. I believe that you could do with a few p.c. to force the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.|

  22. Timika Dewey

    June 13, 2018 at 12:38 am

    I always used to study post in news papers but now as I am a user of net thus from now I am using net for content, thanks to web.|

  23. Serafina Dickhoff

    June 12, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on several websites for about a year and am concerned about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!|

  24. Maryellen Weirich

    June 12, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Saved as a favorite, I like your website!|

  25. Towanda Lamonte

    June 12, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Greate pieces. Keep writing such kind of information on your blog. Im really impressed by your blog.

  26. Halley Placencio

    June 12, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.|

  27. Bryan Topick

    June 12, 2018 at 5:38 am

    I know this web page provides quality based posts and extra data, is there any other web site which gives these kinds of things in quality?|

  28. Linette Loguidice

    June 12, 2018 at 12:10 am

    This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!|

  29. Myron Bisignano

    June 11, 2018 at 11:19 am

    We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you.|

  30. Rene Eden

    June 11, 2018 at 7:22 am

    This information is invaluable. How can I find out more?|

  31. Ginger Riggs

    June 11, 2018 at 12:51 am

    For hottest news you have to go to see the web and on web I found this web site as a finest web site for most recent updates.|

  32. Iomoio

    May 8, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Normally I do not read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top
Shares