Unbroken Night

in soft chiaroscuro the moon descends, levitating in black and white,
stars tremble on the veil of dark, embellishing in black and white.

ivory dice spill from her hands, destiny mourns in the shade,
eyes turn once more to the door, lamenting in black and white.

alone he forgets to remember, alone he remembers to forget,
wayward words wallow and wilt, alliterating in black and white.

the monochrome horizon burns, hope dissolves with the mist,
reality consumes the grey, recalibrating black and white.

this night will shroud the sleeping sun, beyond the profane reach of time,
love, broken, will sew its seams, amalgamating black and white.

 

Experimenting with the Ghazal form after a very long time….
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49 thoughts on “Unbroken Night

  1. Was reading Meeraji today, so in the spirit of ghazal, heres’ a fragment from one of his ghazals where he plays off hope against fate:

    kyuN jeetay jee himmat haareN, kyuN faryaadeN, kyuN ye pukaareN
    hotay hotay ho jaae ga, aaKhir jo bhi hona hoga

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      1. Ghazal hasn’t done its rounds in English near as much as it has in Urdu. (Similarly the experimentation in English is far more nuanced than anything in Urdu, if only because of the volume.) Another reason could be that somehow the form itself is intrinsically suited to the language or the culture, but this one is difficult to support.

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      2. True… cultural only to the extent of the proximity and familiarity, that it sounds strange in a new context…still Agha Shahid Ali transcends all such barriers with ease.

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  2. The chain of thoughts really cements the idea of an unbroken night – the way the mind works when the rest of the world seems to be switched off – destiny mourns in the shade – is superb

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  3. alone he forgets to remember, alone he remembers to forget,
    wayward words wallow and wilt, alliterating in black and white

    Sigh.. an unforgettable poem 😀

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  4. One of my favourite forms! I love the separation of ideas into couplets, with the unifying repetitions. This is superb.

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  5. Great job…I find the ghazal so tricky! This line is so profoundly thought-provoking: “alone he forgets to remember, alone he remembers to forget.”

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      1. The great thing about poetry is that you can always go back and revise it! Just because you’ve published this piece on your blog, doesn’t mean that you can’t tinker with it. I tinker with my poems all the time—fine tuning, I call it!

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  6. “Destiny mourns in the shade,” this is a beautiful thought, as is your entire poem. Loved the effective use of repetition, it made the sadness of it come through.

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