Today’s Child by Atta Shad

Translated from Balochi by Fazal Baloch

Courtesy: Creative Commons
Today’s child,
Tomorrow’s father,
A star of hope for the days ahead,
May you forever glow like moonlight!
From the ocean of the sky,
Countless stars sprinkle pearls of light.
Yet the dark night
Spreads out its tattered cloak.
Howsoever, it remains bright
Night is but night.
The moon is alone --
But it's a beacon of light,
The spirit of tomorrow’s hopes,
The soul of the night nibbled, glows
A harbinger of dawn,
A gift of the morn.
Countless are the stars
The moon is alone.
But absolute is its light.
Today’s child,
Tomorrow’s father,
Your little world --
Whether you drag it into a dark night,
Or illuminate it with moonlight.
Today’s child,
Tomorrow’s father,
A star of hope,
May you glow like the moonlight!

Atta Shad (1939-1997) is the most revered and cherished modern Balochi poet. He instilled a new spirit in the moribund body of modern Balochi poetry in the early 1950s when the latter was drastically paralysed by the influence of Persian and Urdu poetry. Atta Shad gave a new orientation to modern Balochi poetry by giving a formidable ground to the free verse, which also brought in its wake a chain of new themes and mode of expression hitherto untouched by Balochi poets. Apart from the popular motifs of love and romance, subjugation and suffering, freedom and liberty, life and its absurdities are a few recurrent themes which appear in Shad’s poetry. What sets Shad apart from the rest of Balochi poets is his subtle, metaphoric and symbolic approach while versifying socio-political themes. He seemed more concerned about the aesthetic sense of art than anything else.

Shad’s poetry anthologies include Roch Ger and Shap Sahaar Andem, which were later collected in a single anthology under the title Gulzameen, posthumously published by the Balochi Academy Quetta in 2015. The translated poem is from Gulzameen.

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 of Atta Shad from the publisher.


Click here to access the Borderless anthology, Monalisa No Longer Smiles

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