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Poetry

Balochi poetry of Akbar Barakzai

Translated by Fazal Baloch

No
(For my daughter Laleyn)

I wish on your lips
forever stay the word "No"
It's the word 
all glory and delight in life
pour in from

Hearken to the words of your old father
Merrily drink the chalice of love
But to venomous hearts say "No" 
To goblets of hatred say "No"
To all tyrants of your age say "No"

Go ahead and embrace the tides
that alter the course of life
But to the rule of death say "No"
Always raise aloft the flag of truth
but to lies and falsehood say "No"
Give a warm welcome to the light
but to the curse of darkness say "No"

I wish on your lips
forever stay the word "No"
It's the word 
all glory and delight in life
pour in from
The sweetest melody of nature
It’s the secret of life’s beauty

(“No” was the first word that Laleyn learnt and she continued to utter it for many days. Poet)

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 brought out just two anthologies of poetry, Who can Kill the Sun and The Lamps of Heads, 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.

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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