N.M. RASHED'S "NEW DANCE"
1, Nearly Literal Translation
For Many centuries have I been standing
Under some dried up ear of wheat
[The morning of which began with Adam's head].
0 God, with the flood of your black eyes
Wash me up again, so that I go forward again.
Before the dust of myth settles on the shine of your hair
Before your own pain eats you up
0 God, pour again in this empty goblet of mine
The wine of sins,
So that in the invisible garden of faith
The same upheaval of the clove tendrils should grow,
The same sweet basil smells should explode
That first rose from Adam's bed.
For many centuries have I been standing, 0 God!
And from the depths of my hands
Again the cry of Time has been heard
The same cry was heard
When, with the power of these very hands,
I had set up an association of words, of friends,
That kept increasing and increasing,
Will keep on increasing.
What an association had I created!
0 God, you as well for a change, take off
Your shoes girt with soil and negation,
And come unto this association.
So that words—these friends—
Which, like mice, can't be captured,
Again, with each tap of your feet,
Embracing their forsaken meanings,
Begin a new dance,
Begin a new Dance!
Annual of Urdu Studies, #7 ^09