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The Rebel's Silhouette: Selected Poems Paperback – July 20, 1995

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The Rebel's Silhouette: Selected Poems + Call Me Ishmael Tonight: A Book of Ghazals + The Country without a Post Office: Poems (Agha Shahid Ali)
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Unknown to Western readers, the romantic poetry of Faiz (1910-84) is surprisingly fresh and passionate. Faiz was a famous Pakistani writer and public figure who became so popular in the Soviet Union that he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1962. This selection of his poetry, translated and introduced by a poet and professor of English at Hamilton College, makes use of the ghazal , a traditional Urdu poetic form. A kind of modern Omar Khayyam, Faiz's vision of the "ravishing face of love" is poignant: "Who knows/ what was the garden's grief/ when it saw its flowers crushed to nothing?" Despite imprisonment (four years, most in solitary confinement), war, and strong Marxist beliefs, Faiz sings of terrible joys that befall a lover: "I think a body, wearing a jewelry of blossoms,/ has just passed this way." This bilingual edition, with Urdu calligraphy on facing pages, is recommended for libraries serving international students or citizens.
- Frank Allen, Schenectady Cty. Commu nity Coll., N.Y.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

August 1952
Be Near Me
Before You Came
Black Out
The City From Here
City Of Lights
Desire
Don't Ask Me For That Love Again
Evening
Evening In Ashkabaad
Fragrant Hands
Ghazal: 1
Ghazal: 2
Ghazal: 3
Ghazal: 4
Ghazal: 5
Ghazal: 6
Ghazal: 7
Ghazal: 8
The Heart Gives Up
In Search Of Vanished Blood
It Is Spring Again
Last Night
Let Me Think
On My Return From Dhaka (bangladesh 3.)
Poem
A Prison Daybreak
A Prison Evening
So Bring The Order For My Execution
Solitary Confinement
Solitude
Stay Away From Me (bangladesh 1.)
Stay Away From Me (bangladesh 2.)
Two Elegies: 1. Appointments
Two Elegies: 2. The Rain Of Stones Is Finished
Vista
Wash The Blood Off Your Feet
We Who Were Executed
You Tell Us What To Do
For Vera
A Letter From Prison
A Night In The Desert
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

This book exemplifies both the advantages and problems of our literary age in which the world is a global village and entire cultures are within easy reach. It is exhilarating to discover major poets in languages and traditions radically different from our own. "Exotic" writers are accessible and are no longer the exclusive province of scholars. A welcome advance, it brings the risk of crosscultural dilettantism.Faiz Ahmed Faiz has been called the leading poet of the Indian subcontinent, and one of the greatest poets of this century. He was also a scholar and political figure who spent four years in prison. The poems in 7be Rebel's Silhouette are selected and translated by Aga Shahid Ali, who was raised in Kashmir and writes fine poetry in English. His whole presentation of this revered Urdu poet, Faiz, is meticulous and graceful. The English renditions have facing pages in Urdu. The calligraphy is exquisite and the translations unveil a supple intelligence and, often, a terrible poignance. The form of the "ghazal" and other Urdu poetic conventions cast an enchanting spell, but how close are we to the actual poetry, the actual culture, the actual man? We are given a beautiful facsimile. -- From Independent Publisher --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press; revised edition edition (July 20, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870239759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870239755
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #662,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. A. ZAIDI on April 8, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Only a rebel can say words as deep and meaningful as
Aaaj Ka Naam Aur Aaaj Ka Gham Ka Naam
Zard patton ka Gham jo mera Dees hai
Zard ki Anjoman jo mera dees hai
Faiz is a poet of beauty and love. His message is the reign of beauty and love in the country. The passion for enjoying the beauty of life, his deep attachment to love of self and the agony of the world, his love of humanity, his patriotism, his passion for revolution, his sense of justice, are all metaphors of the agony of love. That agony of love which is the soul of his imagination and feeling, on account of which he illuminates the beauty of both worlds with the desolation of his heart. For Faiz, the testing power of beauty is in its creativity. Beauty is not mere artistic value, it is also a social and moral value:
The candle of a look, the star of imagination, All these illuminations have come from your gathering.
Whichever be the source of pain, we ascribe it to you,
Whatever complaints we have, are on account of you.
If it be the agony of the world, if it is the beloved's face or the hand of the rival,
We responded towards all of these with love.
Faiz wrote a sad revolutionary battle-song, the like of which is not be found in any language of the world:
For the love of your flower-like lips,
We were sacrificed on the dry branches of the noose,
For the desire of the candles of your hands
We were killed on half-dark paths.
And with revolutionary dignity:
On our lips the words of the ghazal,
And the torch of misery in our hands,
Gather our banners from the place of murder,
Caravans of other lovers will emerge,
For whose path our feet have shortened the distances of pain.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
Faif Ahmed Faiz was born in Punjab (now a province in Pakistan) in the early 20th century. He was brought up in a literary environment and was mentored by some of the most liberal minds of that time. Early in his professional career, he became famous for his poetry in Urdu and Punjabi. In the 60s he was involved with the communist movement and conspired with Russia and India to bring about communism in Pakistan. Not only was he unsuccessful in his conspiracy, but was also imprisoned for many years by the government of Pakistan. Some of his best works were conceived during those times of confinement. His collection of poems reflect his philosophy and inclination toward communistic way of living, but his poetic eloquence is convincing to even the most anti-communist of us. Such is the power of his words. Agha Shahid had translated the verses well, but the original flavor of Urdu is lost and so have the extreme passion and agony. I would recommend it to readers who are mature enough to distinguish illusions and fantasies from reality and practicality. There are some poems in the collection which are my favorite in their original Urdu form.
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Format: Paperback
The Rebel's Silhouette is a collection of poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, one of the most famous Urdu poets, translated by Agha Shahid Ali, many of them written while Mr. Faiz was in prison.

The word "Beloved" is often used in poetry and ghazals to refer to either a lover or to God. What the brilliant Mr. Faiz does (ably translated by Mr. Ali, fabulous poet himself) is weave in the idea of revolution - the Rebel becomes another incarnation of the Beloved.

What comes of it is a series of beautiful lamentations about the treacheries of love and war, and the desolations ensuing.

"Each road,
each street seems viciously trapped, a prisoner
with no milestone, no destination,
and no occasion for fidelity."
- The City from Here

Mr. Ali writes a fascinating introduction about translation, first languages versus mother tongues (he distinguishes these), and what poetry and song mean to each other, and to art and civilisation.

For his translations, he chooses a free form structure in English (the Urdu is present on the facing page), but there is yet rhythm and rhyme in every stanza, and so much beauty.

"And be careful, they said, take care of the heart.
It still has to break
open into a thousand different wounds.
It still has to know knife after knife after knife."
- Wash the Blood Off Your Feet

And this is my favourite poem from the volume:

Before You Came

Before you came,
things were as they should be:
the sky was the dead-end of sight,
the road was merely a road, wine merely wine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mohammad Omer on June 29, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Faiz, the eternal. Faiz, the beloved. Sweet little collection of the Giants work. Had my favourite misra in it.

' Chand ko gul karein tau janein '

I dont mind paying 15 bucks for that. Heavy on the prison evenings though.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
faiz was one of the modern best poets of the world, though his most poems are about the labour class but at the same time he touches the heart of the humans by his sensitive words. after reading him one can very easily say , he is the best.
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