Translated from Balochi by Fazal Baloch
Akbar Barakzai was born in Shikarpur, Sindh in 1938. He is ranked amongst the proponents of modern Balochi literature. His poetry reflects the objective realities of life. Love for motherland, peace and prosperity and dignity of a man are the recurrent themes of his poetry. His love for human dignity transcends all geographical and cultural frontiers. Barakzai is not a prolific poet. In a literary career which spans over half a century, Barakzai has managed to bring out just two anthologies of his poems, but his poetry has depth and reaches out to human hearts with its profundity. Last year, Barakzai rejected the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) award, quoting the oppressive policies meted out to his region by the government as the reason.
The Word We begin with the word With the word we end Blessings and Salutations To the Apostle of the word! The word is God The very existence And the guiding ocean of time The word brings forth Freedom and providence Prosperity and ruin Mountains trembles with the fear of the word Who could put out the ever-leaping flames of the word? Don’t ever bury the word In the chasm of your chest Rather express the word Yes speak it out! The word is freedom End of oppression Light and radiance Beauty and bliss The word is Socrates’ free-spirited paramour The ember glowing in Mansour’s fervent heart The harbinger of a new dawn Don’t ever bury the word In the depth of your chest Rather express the word Yes, speak it out. The Word brings forth Freedom and providence.
Fazal Baloch is a Balochi writer and translator. He has translated many Balochi poems and short stories into English. His translations have been featured in Pakistani Literature published by Pakistan Academy of Letters and in the form of books and anthologies. Fazal Baloch has the translation rights to Barakzai’s works and is in the process of bringing them out as a book.
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