Balochi poetry by Akbar Barakzai, translated by Fazal Baloch
Be and it All came into Being (A Poem for Atta Shad*) The heavens and the earth The moon and the sun Stars, galaxies and clouds Space and spacelessness Indeed the entire creation God created all in just seven days All praise be to God! On the seventh day Tired of hard labour He thought of heavenly delights Of fair damsels and houries Thus hurried to the garden of the paradise All praise be to God! ’Tis not all His fault If unaware He is of worldly woes and worries Of the agony of love and longing Of the harsh nights of hunger and famine 'Tis not his fault if He is unaware Of the monsters of tyranny and suppression Ours is a world too far from Him Let us not disturb Him in His heavenly abode He must have other more important things on His mind May the curse of Allah befall these blasphemous thoughts! Indeed how would Akbar, a mere minion of God Know His never ending mysteries! A mere poet and wordsmith He seeks His forgiveness All praise be to God! *Atta Shad (1939-1997) is one of the most cherished modern Balochi poets.
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 Sunand 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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