(“why / don’t / be…”) by E. E. Cummings

why

don’t

be

sil

ly

,o no in-

deed;

money

can’t do(never

did &

never will)any

damn

thing

:far

from it;you

’re wrong,my friend. But

what does

do,
has always done

;&

will do alw

-ays something

is(guess)yes

you’re

right:my enemy

. Love

Underneath it all by Gwen Stefani and Dave Stewart

There’s times when I want something more
Someone more like me
There’s times when this dress rehearsal
Seems incomplete

But you see the colors in me
Like no one else
And behind your dark glasses
You’re something else

You’re really lovely
Underneath it all
You want to love me
Underneath it all
I’m really lucky
Underneath it all
You’re really lovely

You know some real bad tricks
And you need some discipline
But lately you’ve been trying real hard
And giving me your best

And you give me the most gorgeous sleep
That I’ve ever had
And when it’s really bad
I guess it’s not that bad

You’re really lovely
Underneath it all
You want to love me
Underneath it all
I’m really lucky
Underneath it all
You’re really lovely

So many moons that we have seen
Stumbling back next to me
I’ve seen right through and underneath

And you make me better
I’ve seen right through and underneath
And you make me better

You’ve used up all your coupons
And all you got left is me
And somehow I’m full of forgiveness
I guess it’s meant to be…

You’re really lovely
Underneath it all
You want to love me
Underneath it all
I’m really lucky
Underneath it all
You’re really lovely

Untitled by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Love is not written on paper,

for paper can be erased.

Nor is it etched on stone,

for stone can be broken.

But it is inscribed on a heart

and there it shall remain forever.

Note: If you have the original in Persian (Farsi) and/or who the translator is, please comment.

Someone like you by Adele and Dan Wilson

I heard that you’re settled down
that you found a girl and you’re married now.
I heard that your dreams came true.
Guess she gave you things I didn’t give to you.

Old friend, why are you so shy?
Ain’t like you to hold back or hide from the light.

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
but I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it.
I had hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded
that for me it isn’t over.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you,
I wish nothing but the best for you too.
Don’t forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead,
sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

You know how the time flies,
only yesterday was the time of our lives.
We were born and raised
in a summer haze
bound by the surprise of our glory days.

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
but I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it.
I’d hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded
that for me it isn’t over.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you.
I wish nothing but the best for you too,
don’t forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

Nothing compares
no worries or cares
regrets and mistakes
they are memories made.
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you.
I wish nothing but the best for you,
don’t forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you.
I wish nothing but the best for you too.
Don’t forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead,
sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

Before you came (Original: “tum jo naa aa’e the”) by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Note: The following translation into English is by Naomi Lazard.

Before You Came by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Before you came things were just what they were:

the road precisely a road, the horizon fixed,

the limit of what could be seen,

a glass of wine was no more than a glass of wine.

With you the world took on the spectrum

radiating from my heart: your eyes gold

as they open to me, slate the color

that falls each time I lost all hope.

With your advent roses burst into flame:

you were the artist of dried-up leaves, sorceress

who flicked her wrist to change dust into soot.

You lacquered the night black.

As for the sky, the road, the cup of wine:

one was my tear-drenched shirt,

the other an aching nerve,

the third a mirror that never reflected the same thing.

Now you are here again—stay with me.

This time things will fall into place;

the road can be the road,

the sky nothing but sky;

the glass of wine, as it should be, the glass of wine.

***

Note: The following translation into English is by Agha Shahid Ali.

Before You Came by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Before you came,

things were as they should be:

the sky was the dead-end of sight,

the road was just a road, wine merely wine.

Now everything is like my heart,

a color at the edge of blood:

the grey of your absence, the color of poison, or thorns,

the gold when we meet, the season ablaze,

the yellow of autumn, the red of flowers, of flames,

and the black when you cover the earth

with the coal of dead fires.

And the sky, the road, the glass of wine?

The sky is a shirt wet with tears,

the road a vein about to break,

and the glass of wine a mirror in which

the sky, the road, the world keep changing.

Don’t leave now that you’re here—

Stay. So the world may become like itself again:

so the sky may be the sky,

the road a road,

and the glass of wine not a mirror, just a glass of wine.

***

Note: The following translation into English is by Ravi Kopra.

It’s the Color of My Heart by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

When you didn’t come,

things were they should be –

the sky was as far as I could see,

the road to travel by was a road,

the goblet was a glassful of wine.

And now, a glassful of wine,

the road to travel by,

and the color of the sky,

are like the colors of my blood,

flowing from my heart to my liver.

Sometimes golden, like the

shine of your eyes when we meet.

Sometimes grey and saddening like

the sickening feelings of partings.

Other times like colors of old

leaves, of trash, of dry grass,

of red flowers in flower-beds,

of dark sky, of poison, of blood.

Now I see the sky, the road,

the glass full of wine, my wet

robe, my aching nerves in a mirror,

changing moment by moment.

Since you’ve come, please stay.

May the things – the colors, the seasons,

stay as if they were in one place.

May everything be as it used to be –

The sky, as far as I could see,

the road to travel by, a road,

the goblet, brimming with wine.

***

Note: The following translation into English is by Victor Kiernan.

Before You Came by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Before you came, all things were what they are—

The sky sight’s boundary, the road a road,

The glass of wine a glass of wine; since then,

Road, wineglass, colour of heaven, all have taken

The hues of this heart ready to melt into blood—

Now golden, as the solace of meeting is,

Now grey, the livery of despondent hours,

Or tint of yellowed leaves, of garden trash,

Or scarlet petal, a flowerbed all ablaze:

Colour of poison, colour of blood, or shade

Of sable night. Sky, highroad, glass of wine—

The first a tear-stained robe, the next a nerve

Aching, the last a mirror momently altering….

Now you have come, stay here, and let some colour,

Some month, some anything, keep its own place,

And all things once again be their own selves,

The sky sight’s bound, the road a road, wine wine.

***

Note: The following translation into English is by Shiv K. Kumar.

The Colour of the Moment by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Before you came, everything was what it is—

the sky, vision-bound

the pathway, the wine-glass.

And now the wine-glass, the pathway, the sky’s tint—

everything bears the colour of my heart

till all melts into blood.

Sometimes the golden tinge, sometimes the hue of the joy of

seeing you,

sometimes ashen, the shade of the dreary moment—

the colour of yellow leaves, of thorn and trash,

of the crimson petals of the flower-beds aglow,

the tint of poison, of blood, of sable night.

The sky, the pathway, the wine-glass—

some tear-stained robe, some wincing nerve,

some ever-revolving mirror.

Now that you’re here, stay onso that so

me colour, some season, some object.

***

Note: The following translation into English is by Frances W. Pritchett.

It’s the Color of My Heart by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Before you came everything

was what it is:

the sky the limit of sight

the road a road, the glass of wine

a glass of wine.

And now the glass of wine, the road, the color of the sky

are the color of my heart

while it breaks itself down

into blood.

Sometimes a gold color—a color of eyes’ delight

that sooty color, the color of disgus

tthe color of dry leaves, straw, thorns

the color of red flowers in a blazing garden

poison color, blood color, the color of black night.

The sky, the road, the glass of wine

are a sodden cloak, an aching vein,

a mirror changing every moment.

Now that you’ve come, stay—let some color, season, thing

stay in place.

One more time let everything

be what it is:

the sky the limit of sight

the road a road, the glass of wine

a glass of wine.

***

Note: Here is the original poem in Urdu transliterated into English script. If you have the original in Arabic script, or even Devanagiri script, please comment.

tum jo naa aa’e the to har chiiz vahii thii kih jo hai
aasmaaN hadd-e-nazar, raahguzar raahguzar, shiishaah-e-mai,
shiishaah-e-mai

aur ab shiishaah-e-mai, raahguzar, rang-e-falak
rang hai dil kaa mere, “khoon-e-jigar hone tak”
champaa’i rang kabhii, raahat-e-diidaar kaa rang
sur’ma’ii rang kabhii, saa’at-e-bezaar kaa rang

zard pattoN kaa xas-o-xaar kaa rang
surkh phuuloN kaa, dahakte hu’e gulzaar kaa rang
zahar kaa rang, lahuu rang. shab-e-taar kaa rang

aasmaaN, rahguzar, shiishaah-e-mai
koii bhiigaa hu’aa daaman, ko’ii dukhtii hu’ii rag
ko’ii har lahzaah badaltaa hu’aa aa’iinaah hai

ab jo aa’e ho to Thahro kih koii rang, koii rut ko’ii shai
ek jagah par Thahre
phir se ik baar har ik chiiz vahii ho ke jo hai
aasmaaN hadd-e-nazar, rahguzar rahguzar, shiishaah-e-mai,
shiishaah-e-mai

My apologies, Sona by Gulzar

My apologies, Sona.
Journeying through the terrain of my verse
in these rains,
inconvenienced you
Unseasonal are the monsoons here.
The alleyways of my poetry are frequently damp.
Water gathers often in the ditches.
If you trip and fall here, you run the risk
of spraining a foot.

My apologies, however . . .
You were inconvenienced
because the light in my verse is somewhat dim.
The stones at my threshold
are imperceptible, as you pass.
I have often cracked a toenail against them
As for the streetlamp at the crossroads,
it has remained unlit for aeons
You were inconvenienced.
My apologies, my heartfelt apologies.

Note: Salim Arif is the translator of this poem into English. Following is the original in Urdu.

My apologies, Sona in Urdu

Is/Not by Margaret Atwood

Love is not a profession
genteel or otherwise

sex is not dentistry
the slick filling of aches and cavities

you are not my doctor
you are not my cure,

nobody has that
power, you are merely a fellow/traveller

Give up this medical concern,
buttoned, attentive,

permit yourself anger
and permit me mine

which needs neither
your approval nor your suprise

which does not need to be made legal
which is not against a disease

but agaist you,
which does not need to be understood

or washed or cauterized,
which needs instead

to be said and said.
Permit me the present tense.

as freedom is a breakfastfood by e. e. cummings

as freedom is a breakfastfood
or truth can live with right and wrong
or molehills are from mountains made
—long enough and just so long
will being pay the rent of seem
and genius please the talentgang
and water most encourage flame
as hatracks into peachtrees grow
or hopes dance best on bald mens hair
and every finger is a toe
and any courage is a fear
—long enough and just so long
will the impure think all things pure
and hornets wail by children stung
or as the seeing are the blind
and robins never welcome spring
nor flatfolk prove their world is round
nor dingsters die at break of dong
and common’s rare and millstones float
—long enough and just so long
tomorrow will not be too late
worms are the words but joy’s the voice
down shall go which and up come who
breasts will be breasts thighs will be thighs
deeds cannot dream what dreams can do
—time is a tree(this life one leaf)
but love is the sky and i am for you
just so long and long enough

A New Hat by Linda France

What I’m offering you is the chance

to let things be as simple

as they’ve never been – wood

and sheep’s wool, the honest work

of hands that catch the tang

of warm and cold, the bone

beneath the skin.  Count up

your years – cable and rib,

marled yarn cast on for casting off

again.  Those almost invisible

spaces between stitches

where your thoughts hold you

are safe – as the sea is safe.

Watch the sirens, hatless

and singing.  For once

let the tides row you home.

Sita by Jason Schneiderman

Do you remember Sita? How when Hanuman came to rescue her

she refused, how she insisted that Rama come openly,

defeat her captor Ravana openly? She had no desire for stealth,

no desire for intrigue, and though Ravana could not touch her

for the curse on his flesh, she remained captive until Rama came.

Do you remember that she was tortured? That Hunaman asked her

for permission to kill the women who had tortured her? Do you

remember how she walked through fire to prove her purity,

even though everyone knew of the curse on Ravana? How the people

said the fire didn’t matter because Fire was the brother of her mother,

Earth? How Rama was as weak in the face of his people as he

had been strong in the face of Ravana? Can you imagine the eyes

of Sita when she refused another test? When she looked at Rama,

a man she loved enough to die for, a man who was a god, and knew

it was over? Can you imagine her eyes in that moment, as she asked

her mother to take her back, to swallow her back into the earth? I think

my eyes are like that now, leaving you.

Untitled by Unknown

And still,

after all this time,

the Sun has never said to the Earth,

“You owe me.”

Look what happens with love like that.

It lights up the sky.

Note: The poet for this poem is controversial. It was first published in the book “The Gift: Poems by Hafiz” by Daniel Ladinsky. Ladinsky does not read or write Farsi (Persian) but claims he translated Hafiz’s poems from another english translation. Some people believe these poems are actually written by Ladinsky, and have nothing to do with Hafiz. Some believe they are written by him, and inspired by Hafiz but are not written by Hafiz originally.

You do by Aimee Mann

You stay the night at his house

with no ride to work

and I’m the one who tells you

he’s another jerk

but you’re the one who can succeed

you’ve only got to prove your need–

and you do

you really do

The sex you’re trading up for

what you hope is love

is just another thing that

he’ll be careless of

but though there are caveats galore

you’ve only got to love him more–

and you do

you really do

even when it’s all too clear

You write a little note that

you leave on the bed

and spend some time dissecting

every word he said

and if he seemed a little strange

well, baby–anyone can change

and you do

you do

you really do

Speaking Truth By Jesa MacBeth

It is possible to speak truth in anger.
When so done, people tend to hear the anger and not the truth.

It is possible to speak truth in arrogance.
When so done, people tend to hear the arrogance
and not the truth.

It is possible to speak truth in deceitful ways.
When so done, people tend to sense the deceit
and take the truth for more deceit.

It is possible to speak truth in loving kindness.
When so done, people tend to hear the love and the truth.

Or so it seems in my experience.

Kept Apart by Saleem Saim

Here I think, and think of her,
All time as a mad,
There my, wife moans,
Tossing lone, and sad,

O exchange of rings!
Then two halves kept apart,
Now wait and wait,
For distant date, O restless heart!

Livelong nights, sleepless bed,
Visions and dreams haunt,
Her changing faces, nuptial fuss,
And unfulfilled want,

Life hastens days,
But thoughts make them go slow,
Flowers bloom, I care not,
Evenings come and go,

Here I think, and think of her,
All time as a mad,
There my, wife moans,
Tossing lone, and sad,

Tossing lone, and sad,
Tossing lone, and sad
Lone and sad, lone and sad,
Sad, sad, sad, sad…….

True Love by Wislawa Szymborska

True love. Is it normal
is it serious, is it practical?
What does the world get from two people
who exist in a world of their own?

Placed on the same pedestal for no good reason,
drawn randomly from millions but convinced
it had to happen this way – in reward for what?
For nothing.
The light descends from nowhere.
Why on these two and not on others?
Doesn’t this outrage justice? Yes it does.
Doesn’t it disrupt our painstakingly erected principles,
and cast the moral from the peak? Yes on both accounts.

Look at the happy couple.
Couldn’t they at least try to hide it,
fake a little depression for their friends’ sake?
Listen to them laughing – its an insult.
The language they use – deceptively clear.
And their little celebrations, rituals,
the elaborate mutual routines –
it’s obviously a plot behind the human race’s back!

It’s hard even to guess how far things might go
if people start to follow their example.
What could religion and poetry count on?
What would be remembered? What renounced?
Who’d want to stay within bounds?

True love. Is it really necessary?
Tact and common sense tell us to pass over it in silence,
like a scandal in Life’s highest circles.
Perfectly good children are born without its help.
It couldn’t populate the planet in a million years,
it comes along so rarely.

Let the people who never find true love
keep saying that there’s no such thing.

Their faith will make it easier for them to live and die.

Note: Translated from the Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh. If you have the original, please leave a comment.

“Sweetly parading you go” by Rumi

Sweetly parading you go my soul of soul, go not without me;
life of your friends, enter not the garden without me.
Sky, revolve not without me; moon, shine not without me;
earth travel not without me, and time, go not without me.
With you this world is joyous, and with you that world is joyous;
in this world dwell not without me, and to that world depart not without me.
Vision, know not without me, and tongue, recite not without
me; glance behold not without me, and soul, go not without me.
The night through the moon’s light sees its face white; I am
light, you are my moon, go not to heaven without me.
The thorn is secure from the fire in the shelter of the roses
face: you are the rose, I your thorn; go not into the rose garden without me.
I run in the curve of your mallet when your eye is with me;
even so gaze upon me, drive not without me, go not without me.
When, joy, you are companion of the king, drink not without
me; when, watchman, you go to the kings roof, go not without me.
Alas for him who goes on this road without your sign; since
you, O signless one, are my sign, go not without me.
Alas for him who goes on the road without my knowledge;
you are the knowledge of the road for me; O road-knower, go not without me.
Others call you love, I call you the king of love; O you who are
higher than the imagination of this and that, go not without me.

Note: Translated by A. J. Arberry. If you have this poem in the original Persian, please comment.

Love After Love by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

love is more thicker than forget by E. E. Cummings

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is more mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

Unclaimed by Vikram Seth

To make love with a stranger is the best.
There is no riddle and there is no test. —

To lie and love, not aching to make sense
Of this night in the mesh of reference.

To touch, unclaimed by fear of imminent day,
And understand, as only strangers may.

To feel the beat of foreign heart to heart
Preferring neither to prolong nor part.

To rest within the unknown arms and know
That this is all there is; that this is so.

I am cannibal by Fugisayi Sasa

Take one man.
Remove his feet and head (for the head holds the mouth,
the mouth conceals the tongue
and a man’s tongue lies)
Pound, then knead the flesh until soft and pliable.
Place in a preheated oven (400°F/200°C/Gas 6) and roast for 50 to 60 minutes.
Serve hot before bitterness sets in.